When I was a boy, the summers seemed to stretch for miles, go on forever. I would look for salamanders, play hours of basketball, and walk over country roads to see my friends. I would jam out to Zeppelin, Hendrix, and Heart in my basement, and tackle lawn chores at my Nonna’s modest brick ranch, to be rewarded with a plate of macaroni with extra grated cheese. Summer was a boy’s best friend.
The summers of mid-life move faster. They slow down only for wakes and funerals, to pay our respects to the departed, some taken from us too soon. This has happened several times this summer, making a lump in the throat as frequent as a daily coffee.
Lest you think I’ve had nothing but a summer of discontent this year, let me correct you. Funerals notwithstanding, my family has done and seen a lot in the past couple of months. Here’s a sampling:
- A trip to our favorite vacation spot, the beaches of Cape Cod
- Two trips to baseball games at Yankee Stadium in New York
- A live concert from Coldplay at the TD Garden in Boston
- Before the show, a meal at a great Italian restaurant in the city’s North End
- For me and my friends, a fun weekend in the woods of the Adirondacks
- Multiple drives to our summer home away from home, Lake George
I had heard “Boy, you guys get around” more than once. I have to agree. If we didn’t have what was equal to a summer bucket list, we had plans made well in advance to enjoy every minute of the season that we could.
As soon as it’s here, it’s gone.
Life travels at the speed of sound. If there is a lesson for you here, it’s this: know how important and fleeting your time is. In our house, babies once crawled and toddlers walked the earth. Now, one baby has taken to the highway, tackling the rigors of the road. I no longer read her a story and tuck her in at night. She is a high school junior.
The little boy has had a growth spurt and a power surge. Months ago, I could field his grounders and catch his line drives with ease. No more. With his swings of the bat, Dad has to avoid rockets and laser beams that have potential to inflict great damage and deep bruises.
The only thing keeping the balls in the yard now is the black chestnut tree that stops their progress. This yard can’t hold him anymore. His day is coming.
With the car radio awash in the sounds of the 70s, it’s easy to drift back to when summers were slow and fruitful. Under those same unbelievably blue skies, the little girl is breaking out and heading to the highway. The boy is crashing fences and taking names.
It’s a cruel summer with a decidedly sweet aftertaste.
Let me know how your summer was in the comment section below. Start a conversation!
Photo credit of Cape Cod marsh to Gabrielle DeGiorgio.You can get free updates to content at this site by subscribing by email or feed reader. Feel free to share via Twitter and/or Facebook.