It was one of those delectably lazy summer evenings. After a day spent at the neighborhood pool, topped off with a round of burgers and onion rings from the cabana, my family had biked home and meandered off on our separate ways.
My groom and the boys were shooting hoops in the driveway, playing Horse and Knockout and Hey Quit It It’s My Turn Now.
And my daughter and I were stretched out on the family room couch, silently
ogling Ryan Lochte taking in the men’s Olympic Swimming Competition.
foamed at the mouth watched, I reflected on what a thoroughly enjoyable summer we had enjoyed so far. I asked Twin A aloud what her favorite part had been to date.
“Right now.” She responded dreamily, without missing a beat or turning her eyes away from the television.
I smiled to myself, touched that she counted this evening of
teeny tiny Speedos easy mother-daughter time to be the highlight of her eleventh summer.
“Awwww…thanks, darlin’,” I cooed, basking in the complement. I placed my hand, palm upward, next to hers, anticipating her slim fingers intertwining with mine.
Instead, I felt the cool, smooth, lightweight pressure of glossy paper.
A quick sideways glance unraveled the mystery: In my hand laid a Pottery Barn Teen Catalog.
The Back-to-School Edition.
The Norman Rockwell moment shattered, I stared, horrified, at the catalog. It was still July, for the love of peace. When had this bit of autumn sensationalism found its way into our mailbox? For me, the first appearances of back-to-school catalogs in the mail and commercials on the television always induce a sense of panic. Though my rational side tells me that we still have almost a month together until I must send The Small One back to elementary school and The Twins off to middle school (gah!), my heart, without fail, begins to race.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ll be ready to boot The Cherubs out the door when the time comes. But I’m not usually in that frame of mind until mid-August.
Damn preppy catalogs. Why must they always rush things?
With these thoughts swirling through my mind, Twin A spoke again.
“I just love this part of summer,” she sighed. ”It’s Cozy-Q-Jack-O-Lantern Time.”
I asked my daughter to elaborate.
“Oh…you know…The part of summer when I get to start thinking about the Labor Day parade, and back to school shopping, and what I want to be for Halloween. It makes me feel all warm and cozy inside. Like I just can’t wait until I can wear a jacket!”
Isn’t it the job of all children to want to squeeze every last drop of summer out of the final month of vacation? To dig in their heels and bemoan the fact that the pool will be closing in a matter of weeks?
Certainly not to embrace the advent of school with wide-eyed glee and weird seasonal nicknames. In July.
But then again, I suppose my Twin A has never been one to follow conventional wisdom.
How about you and yours? Are you anticipating fall with a Cozy-Q-Jack-O-Lantern attitude or with a Janet-Leigh-in-the-Shower one?
Inspired by a prompt from Mama Kat’s Writers’ Workshop: ”Ask your child what their favorite part of summer has been and then blog about it.”