I don't know why it is suddenly so important for me to suck what's left from summer. My lawn is so burned out it coughs clouds of dust in my face when I try to mow down the hardy weeds that adore drought and heat. My daughter is bored of the swimming pool. "But Mommy," she says. "We ALWAYS go to the swimming pool."
Perhaps it is my own memories of summer, spent, at least in my mind's eye, almost entirely at the outdoor community swimming pool that no longer exists in my hometown, listening to Prince songs piped with a fair amount of static over the loudspeakers and squealing at friends. And if we weren't there, we were outside a lot, catching fireflies or running off energy before bed (my mother was a big believer in this -- I have no idea if it worked).
I love summertime.
Last weekend, we took our little sailboat down to the rack we had built at the very beginning of summer at the edge of the marina and tied it in. I got to set in with no sail and no keel and paddle from the launching pad over to the rack. The wind was so strong it was pushing me along without rowing, even with no sail, and all I wanted to do was hoist and go. But there were things to do and a child who for some reason doesn't like being squished into a two-foot-by-two-foot pocket between the mast and tiller when there is no one to watch her. And really, do I want to push her off on others on the two days a week I get to actually spend all day with her? Yes. And no. But mostly no. We could've found someone to watch her, could've sailed, could've biked places she can't keep up. But we didn't. We gathered her up, along with two floaties, six diving sticks, two pairs of goggles and a cooler full of lemonade, and headed out.
To the swimming pool. Beloved and I insisted that we go both days last weekend, because we won't be able to make it next weekend when it closes for the season. I'm still clinging in my mind to the fact the lake doesn't close, so I may be able to float or swim a few more times before it gets too chilly. I spent most of the second day actually in the water, swimming back and forth, feeling it break across my face, listening to the sounds it made in my ears, floating on my back and watching the clouds move above me.
I don't want summer to end. Outdoor ice cream for everyone.