So Long, Summer

I have been wanting to share this photo since it was taken early in the Summer. The longer I wait, the more the meaning keeps changing.

It was late afternoon when I took this photo of O. slowly scooting towards the Ocean. Late afternoon, time to head back to get cleaned up, make dinner, walk Harry. I remember my amusement because it was such a statement of "I don't want to go!"

It wasn't yet the end of our vacation, so it was just leaving at the end of the day, but I thought, soon, this will mean leaving Cape May for yet another year.

After returning from vacation, the photo began to mean Summer's end and heading back to school.

As the Summer wore on, however, this photo took on a more symbolic meaning having nothing to do with vacations or the beach. It was that pathway O. was carving ever-so-slowly away from me, towards herself.

This Summer was a big one. She turned 10. The training wheels came off her bike. I took her to get her ears pierced. She learned how to knit. She started being the go-to cat sitter and plant waterer for vacationing neighbors, now that the teenager who held that position is sixteen and too busy.

She's a fourth grader. A leader of the lower school, and preparing in earnest for next year's transition to middle school. She carries textbooks and has an assignment book.

Now, it truly is my last chance, the first day of Autumn. I have to say it, even though temperatures will reach the upper 80's today.

Bye-bye Summer.