I woke up happy this morning, a feeling I didn’t recognize at first.

I ate yogurt for breakfast, with blueberries and granola. I emptied the dishwasher. It felt like a Saturday, a normal Saturday. I hadn’t looked at the news, and I hadn’t been on Facebook. I did know it is going to rain tomorrow, so I asked Katy and her friend to take a ride to Nantasket with me. (Katy’s friend has been staying with us since the shelter in place.) I was surprised when they said yes before I resorted to bribery, (Wahlberger’s) or begging, (I’m not proud).

We arrived at about 3 pm. The girls wanted to walk on the rocks. Sophie did not.
We decided to stay close, (I decided, they acquiesced).
I would stroll the sidewalk, they would run around in the sand.
Within five minutes, I lost sight of them.

I called. Katy was going to meet me outside a restaurant a few blocks down.
Long story short, I didn’t see her again until we met at the car 45 minutes later.
So Katy chose to hang out with her friend, instead of her friend and her mom. Oh. My. God.

She tried to apologize. I insisted she needed to be quiet or talk to her friend, (snarky emphasis on the word friend).
At one point, when my sixteen year old wouldn’t stop pleading for forgiveness, I pulled the car over and put on my over the ear I’m-not-a-fan-of-humans headphones.
When we got home, I dropped her and her friend off, and snarled at her to clean her closet.

I took Sophie for a walk at Cunningham. Sophie didn’t want to walk at Cunningham. She’d already walked the boardwalk for forty-five minutes, and it was about to rain.
I came home. Katy asked me if I wanted to bake bread. They promise to watch tv with me tonight and aren’t going to insist on Criminal Minds or The British Baking Show.
It was kind of nice, having something to yell about and having someone to yell at.

My social life revolves around Katy, her friend, and my dog. That’s a lot to ask of all parties.

But we’ve survived Colin, learning to drive, and the interminable battle of the clothes on the stairs.

We’ve got this.


Mid to late August, it happens.

The back to school flyers weigh more than the news/travel/ and sports section combined.

My 14 year old daughter sighs and shakes her head-“I don’t know where the time went.”

Cunningham pool posts it’s last day. Sunblock goes on sale.
I look up from everything
To wonder how the hell that happened.

The pool might close,
assignments might be due,
but the sales are going to run until it’s time for Halloween.

Summertime is time out. Time off.
A day at the beach. An hour by the barbecue. An afternoon with a good book.

Some time at the park with your kids, grandkids,
or a bunch of dogs you’re babysitting,
spying on them on the swing in the playground,
wondering where the hell time went.

I don’t know where you’re at in the journey,
but I can pass this on.

The beach doesn’t close.
The barbecue doesn’t care if it’s Monday, November, or 4 am.

Cunningham pool shuts down,
but there’s ponds, kiddie pools,
the ocean, the bay,
and the bathtub,
all offering different water temperatures and dining options.

We can move thru life
At summertime slow,
Or fall frantic.
It’s still August, my friends.

No one is going to run out of pencils.

You don’t need to start wearing fall until January,
orange is not on the runway this year.

Revel in flip flops, sundresses, and shorts of all shapes,
until knees are blue.

Stay barefoot whenever you can, have something on hand
in case you want to enter a store, a restaurant,
or have an appointment with a court officer, or a prospective employer.

There are beaches, and the water is warm.
If the sharks bother you-
There are lakes, kayaks, italian ice, baseball, drive-ins, eating outside, eating takeout from the boxes in bed while watching Netflix, bike paths, hiking trails…

These are my summer time things.

I want to say- to myself- as much as you-

It doesn’t have to end because
the bus pass came in,
or a leaf turned,
or your son graduated high school, and all his friends are going to college,
and you want him to get ready for fall.

Summer is here.

It will not leave
until we mark
it in pen
Or email a colleague
Likely to note
it’s expected departure
On the calendar.

There is time
To call your family.
Text your friends.
Light a sparkler. Go dancing.
Sing along to the radio.
Roll down the top.
Roll down the window.
Laugh out loud.
Wish on a candle.
Look at the clouds.
Buy a beach towel that
means something.

Everything else goes by so fast, everything else-

This year,
Let summer last.

We don’t need to infringe
on the Fall season-

those that love the fall,
or make their living selling leafblowers, pumpkins, and autumn colored towels-
I respect their needs too,

I am just asking for a little room
to prepare for what needs to be done
in September.

There is work to be done in September.

This year,
I need a little extra time at the beach,
Before what comes
After Summer

     Tomorrow, I’m taking the gang to the beach. We are going to pack a cooler with fried chicken from Shaws and a big thermos of lemonade. We are going to remember the frisbee and the football and the boogie boards. On the way I am going to sing along to hip hop and 80’s music until the kids cry for mercy, and/or promise to clear the table for the rest of the time they live at home.

When we get there we will find parking. The tide won’t be too high or too low. The water temperature will be cool enough to refresh, but not cold enough to hurt my toes. Tomorrow, I am going to make a day feel like a week, but it will end when I blink my eyes. I will take plenty of pictures. I will remember every single second forever.

And I promise I won’t hide under the beach umbrella posting whatever cute thing someone said on Facebook. I wo’t need to. I will remember every single second forever.