I love the summer. Even the days where the heat lays over you like a humid blanket. I like being outside. Hearing the wind rush through the trees – greeting each leaf with a rustling handshake. While bees hum their tune of productivity helping gardens bloom their riches.
There are still a few weeks of summer left, yet I’ve always felt summer ends after the Labour Day long weekend. After all, it’s when as a child you switch from spending most of your days outside, to spending most of your days in a classroom.
I always looked forward to that first day of school – the start of a new year where anything is possible. From new friends to new discoveries about the world; from sports honours to science fair ribbons. Yes. Anything is possible.
But saying goodbye to summer is always hard. Especially when it’s brimming with memories of family fun, personal triumphs and all around good times. Of course the year ahead is waiting to offer those same memories of our making; I just feel a nod of nostalgia to this summer in particular.
Because next week, my girl starts school for the first time. Sure, this summer has flown by, but wow – so have these past four years. The day my daughter was born I held her in my arms and felt it deep down to my soul how much she needed me, depended on me. I want nothing to harm her ever.
As she’s grown, that protectiveness hasn’t changed but her need for me and her dad has. Of course she still needs us in all kinds of ways but that need has shifted. She needs us to let her grow and do and try and be.
At the beginning of the summer we bought Sweet Girl a bike. She was so excited. But she gave us constant, earnest reminders to not let go of the bike. Lots of “Please don’t let go, Mommy.” and, “Hold the handlebar, Daddy.”
Yesterday Sweet Girl road her bike to the park. On the way home, she got stuck on a bit of an incline along the path we take. She asked me for a bit of a boost up, then turned to me and said, “Let go, Mommy – I’ve got it.”
The summer is transitioning into fall and my family is transitioning into a whole new life adventure. One where my girl needs me a little less. I’m watching those apron strings loosen bit by bit and feeling that bittersweet pride. That bittersweet joy.