Summer is slowly winding down.
The neighborhood kids have all started school, the nights are starting earlier, and the pumpkin-scented candles are filling the shelves at our local stores.
But the thing is…it’s hot as Hades up in here.
That’s the thing about Texas. The shorter days, the subtle changes in light that promise fall is right around the bend, the little spring I feel creeping into my step when I open the front door and it’s not eight trillion degrees outside…they’re all illusions. It’s still hot. And it might still be hot until November.
Today, though? We enjoyed it.
A little pre-dinner Slip-n-Slide action was on the agenda, and I watched from the patio – the outdoor ceiling fan spinning warm air over my head – as the kids splashed.
“There won’t be many more days like this,” I said wistfully, and I meant it both as a reminder to my kids to enjoy this late summer evening and as a reminder to myself that these oppressive summer days would be giving way to fall before I knew it.
“Why?” asked Jack.
“Because…it’s almost fall. And fall is chilly.”
“Will it snow?” has asked.
“No,” I said. “But we won’t be playing on the Slip-n-Slide, or going to the pool, when it’s fall.”
He turned his attention back to the Slip-n-Slide, and I stepped inside to find towels.
By this time, dinner was ready and the sun had started to sink, leaving our backyard a cool oasis of shade. Claire came darting into the house, her lower lip shivering a bit, and wrapped her wet little icy-cold arms around my legs.
“I’m cold, Mama!! Towel!” she giggled, pretending to shake from the cold.
I wrapped her up in a towel and called her a “baby burrito” and carried her, giggling, to her room, where I found a long sleeve shirt to dress her in for dinner.
A long sleeve shirt.
And then I felt a little pang in my heart for the loss of these summer days. As much as I hate the soul-sucking summer heat in Texas, and as much as I loathe the bugs and the need for 24/7 air-conditioning, summer has been good to us this year.
It’s been pool parties, and barbecues, and fireworks with our friends on the 4th of July. It’s been all the things I hoped summer would be for my family, and then some.
I will miss it.
And then we got everyone situated at the dinner table, with promises of popsicles for kids that finished their dinners, and I lit a couple of candles on the counter next to us.
Pumpkin ones, of course!