It’s just after Labor Day and I think we now say, officially in that calendar-unofficial way, that summer is over. In certain ways, it seems right; I’d started to grow weary of the very long days, of the confusing expectation of both laziness and activity.
Well, sort of.
Last May (https://wanderingintrovert.com/2022/05/31/tuesday-31-may/), I wrote about some of the things that I hoped would happen in summer. I talked about #1000WordsofSummer, and of speaking French aloud with an actual person. I wished for a vaccine for my child and was looking forward to a roadtrip.
It was light at 5:20 in the morning.
The surprising thing now is that I did all those things. I continued my Duolingo streak (740 days and counting); I tried practicing French on italki; I finished the wonderful, wonderful #1000words project and can’t recommend it highly enough, if you’re into that sort of thing. I took my baby out of the state for the first time in his life, joyfully crossing the border to our north, and started the vaccine process for him.
That’s not all summer was, though. We also went outside a lot, and FaceTimed people that we love. Found a different house that whispers the promises of home; had a beer and some French Fries at an outdoor patio. My brother, who I hadn’t seen since before the pandemic descended and upended, came to visit and for a week, he slept on my couch and played with my son and went outside a lot with us.
I tried to do at least one fun thing a day with my little one, which is a silly idea as I realize that pretty much everything we do is fun. But we went to the beach and we went hiking; saw friends that he talks about and discovered places to run. He did a million-billion new things and I tried to hold on to each of them even as I immediately let them go. He grew stronger and healthier and more and more capable, and I took a course on toddlerhood to help me understand how to support him even better.
I was hard on myself, and I tried not to be; I tried, instead, to do the things that help me remember who I am, like reading and volunteering and occasionally baking. I often collapsed into bed at night, exhausted. Sometimes I cried, wanting to be better in some sort of way, and frequently I absolutely drowned in gratitude for all the joy in my life.
And in that way, as summers do, this one flew by.
Now, there is a certain feel to the air, hinting at far-off things like holidays. And I’m thinking of what is to come. We are slated to be on a plane in two months, if all goes well; I need a new writing project on which to focus. I’ll be sorting through my stuff and trimming down, though it’s a task I don’t excel at and one that I’m not very excited about. I’ll continue working on kindness towards myself, and movement that makes me feel good physically, and figuring out how to honor my wanderlust while also appreciating how very, very special it is to enjoy standing still.
It’s Tuesday, the 6th of September, 6:25 a.m., and the sky is finally starting to lighten up. Happy fall, for all who celebrate.