I hope everyone had a fantastic Independence Day! July 4th may very well be one of my most favorite holiday’s. I was a summer kid. I lived for warm days, no school and the ability to spend sun-up to sun-down in my grandmothers swimming pool. I looked forward to summer camp, catching fireflies and family barbecues. When I was older, it was the public pool with my girlfriends, getting baked by the hot summer sun where we spent our days trying to catch the eye of whatever boy we would come across. I am pretty sure that if I was ever granted the opportunity to go back into time, I would pick one of my summer’s past. It was the best, and I miss my tan.
Even when I became a mother, I still longed for summer. I was the mom who was never sad about her kids being out for summer break. I never wanted the fall to come. We played games, went swimming nearly every day, and consumed thousands of ice-pops. I recall the smell of their matted sweaty heads; their grubby little hands that needed washed a million times. I remember vividly how soundly they would sleep at night when their little exhausted selves would crawl into bed after their nightly baths. If I close my eyes and listen closely I can still hear their gentle, rhythmic breathing.
I suppose I am feeling a tad melancholy this summer. Here I am now, 43 1/2 years old to be exact. I have spent two days at the pool this summer. The only time I make it outside now is after the sun goes down for my nightly walk. There are no more babies, or small children to entertain. No more getting dolled up and spraying gallons of hair-spray to go tanning and parade around the local pool. No, now I sit, with my skin as pale as it has ever been missing the summer-days of yesteryear.
It is a strange time in my life right now. I feel like I am teetering somewhere between my youth and being old. I suppose that is why they call it “middle-aged.” I am not quite sure where I fit in right now. My sons are grown. They live in three different states. They are planning for their own futures currently. I feel like an outsider looking in on some days. I appreciate and love when they want to include me in on their day-to-day lives and plans. Oh how my heart longs for their sweet sweaty, popsicle stained faces. My baby girl, turns 12 this week. TWELVE YEARS OLD. How did this happen? It only seems like yesterday that I was praying for her life to be saved, when I was told that she would likely die within her first two years of life. A time that seemed to be a living hell on earth, is now but a distant memory. One that feels like it was a dream, as if I had imagined the entire thing. Only to have photographs remind me that it was anything but a dream. She is now a healthy, feisty, moody pre-teen girl that I rarely see outside of her closed door. She too, does not need me or want me like she once did. I know that is temporary of course. Still it stings. So I sit and wait here in this weird middle-aged world trying to grasp my fleeting youth, build my future for when I retire and somehow keep my sanity while doing it. I think I am simply lonely in the midst of all of these changes.
I know this thing called life comes full circle. I know the day will come where I will have grandchildren to spoil during the summer months. There will be swimming and playing, and sooooo many ice pops! My role will be different, but I will embrace it willingly and with honor.