This is hands down my favorite time of year. Beach days, cooler evenings, s’mores over bonfires at night. It can be easy to fast forward to snowstorms and losing daylight with a change of seasons just around the corner. But being a Connecticut native, I have learned to brace myself for what’s to come, while still enjoying the weather at hand.
Which is exactly what we’ve been doing. Instead of a full-blown vacation this year, we opted instead for packing lunches for an afternoon at the beach and taking day trips. I’ve accumulated a lot of vacation time at my job and pulled my daughter out of daycare pretty frequently to spend time swimming, putz around the yard to water flowers, and create works of art on the sidewalk. In the evenings, we’ve been hitting the carnival circuit pretty hard. We’ve made popcorn and French fries our evening meal and washed it down with pink lemonade. (And not felt one ounce of guilt about it.) We’ve stayed up late, skipped bath time, and gone to bed smelling like campfire smoke. We’ve increased the number of stuffed animals in my daughter’s room, while draining our pockets at carnival games. We’ve camped out in the backyard.
My daughter starts preschool this year and I am gearing up for it. She’ll be leaving her friends at daycare, the kids that she’s been with since she was a baby. She has a new school wardrobe. New sneakers. We’ve had lots of talks about the things that are going to change for her: new friends, new teachers, new location.
This has been a busy, fun summer. I’ve noticed some pretty big changes in my little Bean. She eats more, has definitely shot up a little on her height chart, and went up a shoe size. She has gotten braver with her choices of rides at the fair. She talks a lot more. Is that possible? And she totally makes me laugh. Like, I love talking to her. She says the most ridiculous things – but sometimes the brightest stuff comes out of her mouth as well.
And I am relishing these cooler summer evenings. Making sure to enjoy each and every day with my family. Because I’m learning very quickly that it really does go by fast. Just like each and every season holds special qualities, so has every stage of my daughter’s childhood so far. So today, rather than worry about the first frost or mourn the loss of that wonderful extra hour of sunlight, I intend to slow down, soak up the last of summer, and embrace the fall.