Monday, August 20, 2012

Bittersweet Jar

Summer has quietly fallen asleep at the Box House. She has silently drifted along, up and down, bobbing and swirling, and has slowly gone out with the tide. Part of me is glad to see summer come to a close. School has started back for us today, and I can already feel the year tilting away from me. From here on out it’s a downhill slope until the new year.

But there’s always that bittersweetness, isn’t there? We store up a little collection of heartbreak at the end of every summer. Not a big one. Just tiny little fractures. There’s always a part of us that belongs to summer, a part of us that waits all year long for it. There’s a homesickness during the winter as we wait for warmth.

I think I can say that this has been my favorite summer since I was a child. The first year I’ve really embraced every long day, every sunbeam and late night star. It’s gone by so quickly, even the days that seemed to last forever.

We accomplished a lot these past few months.

We made new friends.

We tried new things.

We became reacquainted with the beach.

We made a lot of memories.

There are a few things I want to take with me from this summer. A few pieces I want to put in my little bittersweet imaginary jar of summer heartbreak and love.

Ashton has grown more this summer than I’ve ever seen in any year to date. He dared the roller coasters. He kayaked and learned to swim. He grew so brave. I always want to remember the year my little boy really started to grow up. It’s painful, but necessary. I’ve never been so proud of him, even in the midst of my mother hen panic attacks as he exercised his newfound testosterone. That pride, along with that little fissure of heartbreak, is going in my summer jar.

I want to remember the way the light filtered over my daughters’ hair as they ran barefoot through the twilight. The way they shrieked and laughed and twirled. Those giggles, that deep purple light, are going in the jar. The bonds they’ve begun to forge in earnest, a REAL sisterhood, with inside jokes and teasing and even hair pulling. They’re going in there too.

My jar is going to be so full this winter. Every once in awhile I’ll pull out the little memories, and smile past a tight throat, hold on hard to that little surge of homesickness. And I’ll wonder where my summer went. I’ll try to categorize it, asking myself what did we do with all of our long days. I’ll say over and over again, “Where did our summer go?” And then... then I’ll look at the freckles across Chloe’s nose and cheeks. I’ll see Ashton’s brown skin and Atleigh’s blond birthmark brighter than ever. I’ll look through my pictures, replay the laughter, the waves and the sunshine and rain. I’ll see the light in my kids’ eyes and the smile in my soul. And I’ll remind myself: “Ah, yes. That’s where my summer went. In this bittersweet jar of little things. Here it is.”

What will your jar hold at the end of this summer, friends?


You can see some of the memories going into my jar on Instagram- follow me @mbsmoot.

I make a habit of going through my summer pictures at the end of the season and posting some of my favorites here on What If I Said.. Some of them you may have already seen, and some are fresh from our trip with friends to Lake Cayuga in upstate New York last week. 



1 comment:

  1. Beautiful. They've grown up so quickly. What wonderful winter days you'll have remembering this summer.
    As for the last picture, as soon as I saw it, I thought of grandpa looking down on all of you & enjoying this summer with you too.
    I love you!

    Auntie <3