When I was small, I remember lying in the front yard, smelling the newly-shorn grass and listening to the rhythmic hum of sprinklers. Letting the Alabama heat soak into my skin and playing freeze tag with my sisters as the long afternoons faded into evening. Summer seemed as though it would last forever, like all there was to do was ride my bike and knock on my friends’ doors to see if they could play and cool off with popsicles (the push-up kind they still sell in skinny plastic sleeves) and fight off boredom. This year, Michael and I have the luxury of a summer. And while I knew that the long and stretched-out summer days of childhood are gone, never to return, I suppose I expected a bit more leisure.

We’ve been blessed, beyond measure, with lake time and family time and time to exercise outdoors and see friends and go to a Braves game and eat delicious treats. I want to do these things, I need to do many of these things, but somehow I didn’t bank on it being so labor intensive. And now the summer has passed the 50% marker and we’re trying to pare down our to-do list, to accept that some things just won’t happen. And that’s OK: all that can be done is plan and prioritize and choose and live with it. (This post may sound whiny. Not my intention to be a brat; I realize we are so blessed to have this time. Just trying to deal, inside my own head, with the reality that time is limited and requires choices, ones which are hard to make.)

Last night, sitting on the porch after dinner with Michael’s parents, it sunk in that we are probably not going to get another chance for the whole Gregory family to be together. The whole summer of family togetherness, in the end, boiled down to just one night, already past. My side is a little, but not much, better; everyone will be together at the beach for about two days before sisters start peeling off to return to jobs that require attention. We don’t know what the next year or more will hold, exactly, but it’s entirely possible that this is it for another two years.

So. Deep breath. We’ll get through, and it will be worth it, although difficult at points. It’s a good thing, this tug that we feel on our hearts in lots of different directions, and we’re glad for it. Glad for the long visits, and the quick ones too, for friends all over the world and family that will probably shed a tear when they see us go. And glad that we get to be here now.

While summer is fleeting, this one’s not over yet.


4 Comments on “Summertime”

  1. feeling full says:

    What happened to your side?!

  2. melissa says:

    Your side of the family….got it…

  3. Tremendous post. . . I envy your ability to put thoughts into words!

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