When I was kid, summers lasted forever. After school ended, we had days and days, weeks and weeks, whole long stretches of time to play kickball, pick wildflowers, or just lie on the grass staring at the clouds. Every Tuesday, my mother took us to the library, and I’d stay up late, reading all my books at once because it was summer time, and I didn’t have school the next day. We went camping all the time, too, and those days were filled with swimming, playing, and sitting by the campfire.
“How come summers go by so much faster now?” I complained to Denim Friend one night.
She took my question seriously. “I think it’s because as adults we have too much awareness of time,” she said. “I mean, when you were a kid, you didn’t know it was the beginning of August. You just lived for the moment, enjoyed every August day, and then suddenly, your mother would take you to the store to buy school shoes, and you’d find out that school was starting that week.”
I think she’s right. So I’ve decided not to look at my calendar too closely right now, and I am keeping the fall to-do list off my desk. It is still summer, and I plan to continue enjoying it for another two weeks.
Of course, it helps that I’m heading off for another vacation. My husband and I are leaving a long trip, just the two of us. The gang in the living room — our own four kids plus the extras — will get along fine without us. They’re mostly grown-ups now, busy with research and music and grad classes. Our plan is to pack a few clothes, fly to someplace beautiful, and pretend that we’re teenagers again.