It’s not their birthdays that make me see how much the boys are growing; it’s the passing of summer, and the inevitability of back to school.
The foray into fall leaves me feeling bittersweet. Summer has once again gone by too swiftly, another summer with my children I will never get back. This sunny season is measurable to me, viewing their growing independence as each year passes. Yet, they still want to hang out with me, their mom, and so we do. Family vacations, day trips or just sitting on the front porch eating a popsicle and talking…. or not. Last year there was one camp week, this year there was none. The choice is always theirs. The end of summer also means I’m exhausted from trying to balance it all but it’s a satisfied exhaustion that leaves me with a small smile on my lips as I go over the days in my mind.
Each year, on the Labour Day weekend, we make the trek to my aunt’s house for a family BBQ. Pat was my mother’s sister, and after my mom died, she was a desperately needed link I cherished. Her writing, the way she spoke, her mannerisms so similar to my mother that it gave me a piece of my mom which I selfishly sucked in and tucked away. Then Pat passed away, leaving her family devastated and me mourning not only my aunt, but my mother yet again – the link now gone. Being surrounded by my mom’s family reminds me of how much I miss her, and how precious life is - sometimes being taken away from you so swiftly you never fully recover.
There is a part of me excited for the routine that will come when the boys are back in school, but I will miss the later nights and the lazy mornings, the impromptu outings and the lunches made around noon, not at 7:00 AM in a rushed frenzy to get everyone ready and out the door.
While January marks the beginning of the calendar year it is September that marks the passage of time for me in a way that nothing else does.
With only a few weeks until the new year begins, as always, I wonder if I have made the most of it.