I know that look on her face; it reads like the big “E” on the eye chart. She’s devastated by what she knew was inevitable. She lived the good life; stayed up late, slept in, went to the mall, the beach, the movies, but mostly she relished the time away from school.
She, like we did, learned year after year that all good things come to an end, including summer. She grieves the time being over, it’s spent, never to be relived again… and the reality weighs on her small frame. She had her funeral face on the day I wrote this, hence the title of the post.
Our youngest is definitely a chip off the ole’ block. I remember celebrating the beginning of summer as if it were an entrance into heaven. In fact, that’s exactly what it felt like. I too mourn the passing of summer as if it were the loss of my best friend. The adage, “All good things come to an end,” while true on this physical earth, never made me feel any better, so I spared her that tradition.
The reality is that I mourn the passing of a summer time too, but for slightly different reasons. I know my little one grieves, they are the same reasons I did, but not what I grieve for now…
The reality that life moves on faster than we can comprehend is what settles in the forefront of my thought. I think about the things I didn’t do with not just her, but all of them. I remember how fast the four years of high school went by for her big sisters.
I also think about the innocence that’s close to being gone forever. I remember summers when they were all home and the trips taken, the memories made. Yeah, I miss the summer and summers just like my little one does.
She’ll settle in, she’ll struggle with adolescent issues, she’ll worry about things that she doesn’t need to at the age like all of us did, but that’s part of life and the age. I’ll struggle too, but for different reasons. I’m old enough to know how fast life gets behind us and yet I squander some of that precious commodity of time too, just not quite as blatantly as I used to.
I’m sympathetic to my daughter, I too feel the death of a summer, but I also know that each day and season is a gift from God. There is redemption, forgiveness, and another chance every time we open our eyes to start a new day, not to mention the memories of each gift of summer that lives with us forever.
“You wanna’ come with me?” I asked.
“No,” she said quietly.
“You’re sad, huh?”
I smiled that flat-across-the-face-type of sympathetic smile, then whistled the ten note death march tune…
I think it’s gonna be a good year…