Wednesday, August 07, 2013

When You Find The Time Getting Short

The temperature on my weather app read 43*f when I checked it at 4:06am yesterday. The day before I was sitting around with some girl friends, enjoying the afternoon and catching up when one of them remarked about the beautiful fall day we were enjoying. I felt myself scowl before I choked down the rant about how unhappy I was about the weather and how it did in fact seem that summer was over.

The light has started to change, on both ends of the day. The sun is taking longer to come up over the mountain in the morning, and it's starting to get dark again by 8:00pm. The day time temperatures have been in the 70's, and scattered about my lawn are dried up leaves that have already changed and fallen off their trees. Our summer season has gone from the three months I remember as a youth, to the 31 days of July. As much as I love fall, and all of the things it has to offer, this saddens me. I am not ready for it's arrival in August. I still want to be able to don my shorts and flip flops and take naps out in my hammock. I want to be able to eat dinner out at the table in the backyard and not have to be wearing long pants and a sweatshirt. I want the days to climb into the 80's and to feel like summer, so I can hold onto it for just a little bit longer before having to head back to school at the end of the month.

As this summer comes to an end, and I prepare to send my son off to college, I realize that the time I have left with my daughter is running short as well. Last month she celebrated her sixteenth birthday and this fall she will start her junior year of high school. She's struggling, my girl, to find herself in a wave of teenage drama and complicated friend challenges and low self image problems. She has days where she is happy and social and days she holes herself up in her room, engaged in activities known only to her, or napping and I feel my worry radar climb a notch or two. Through all of that though, she brings out the best in those around her. She is smart, funny, talented, beautiful, thoughtful and witty and those of us who are fortunate to have her in our lives are blessed more than we deserve.

This summer, I have watched as she has spent time with her brother, watching season after season of Dr. Who. I have listened as he has asked her questions about things that he normally wouldn't have taken an interest in before. I have heard her having discussions with him about nothing, and everything, and I have taken it all in. He asks me questions about her when she has been sleeping for what he deems to be too long. She offers her thoughts on what a wreck he's going to be out in the world alone when he's out of ear shot.  They both claim to be looking forward to the day that he leaves. He says he can't wait to go. She says that she won't miss him. I think that deep inside they are both frauds, but I don't dare tell either of them that. They need to discover it for themselves.

Me, I'm counting down the days, and trying to enjoy the time left. He is starting to get short, and cranky, which is his way of pushing me away. I can see right through that facade, knowing that it won't hurt any less if he distances himself before he goes, and I still engage him in discussions. I let him think that he can go, and it's not going to be any big deal. I don't make a huge fuss about the fact that I am going to miss him and his presence in this house, but I do mention it sometimes. I don't want him to leave thinking that he's not loved and wanted here. I am grateful that I will still have 2 more years with her after he goes, though experience has shown me it will be over before I know it. My time with these kids is running out, and I can only hope that I have given them what they need to soar on their own.

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