Every year, summer sneaks up on me. It always seems like winter lags on, reluctant to leave. We have chilly spring days, followed by one teasingly hot week, followed by the cold again. I put away our winter coats, only to have to take them out again.

Then, somehow, it’s summer again. The scorchers are here to stay, and the sweaters that have made a pile on the chair in my room need to get washed and put away until fall. Schools let out, flooding my Facebook feed with last day of school and prom and graduation pics.

Summer is here.

 

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Despite that, it’s easy to remain caught up with everyday chores and routines and responsibilities. All of a sudden, I realize it’s the longest day of the year. Summer is in full swing, and if I don’t stop and look around, I might miss it. I get out my summer family bucket list (strawberry picking, check; zoo, check) so that I won’t forget anything.

When you were young, didn’t it seem like summer lasted forever? I remember being bored as day after hot and lazy day passed by.

But like everything in life, summer seems sped up now that I’m an adult and a parent. Every year, I mourn the end of summer because I feel like I let it slip by. I didn’t fully embrace it or wasn’t really present for it. I hadn’t been mindful. And before I know it, it’s gone.

Summer traditions seem the most natural and timeless of all the seasons. I’m not sure why this is. Maybe it has something to do with the organic way the outdoors seems to affect people. Let kids loose in summer, and they do what kids have been doing forever: running in the grass, digging in the sand, catching lightning bugs, playing outside late into the dusk, swimming in lakes and the ocean.

There’s a natural inevitability to summer that the rest of the year doesn’t possess.

I love the way the summer encourages us to relax and take it easy. I need that, because it’s easy to get a bit caught up in all the to-do’s of life. Summer reminds us to let them go, to sit back and appreciate.

In the midst of everything I have going on right now, I’m going to try my hardest to take the time to savor the season. As my son grows older, I can’t wait to see him more fully revel in summer’s delights.

So welcome back, summer. I promise to try to be present while you are with us. I promise to take advantage of your sunshine and your long days. I promise to realize how lucky I am to be able to watch my son discover your charms. I promise to fully embrace you – and to encourage my child to do the same.

A version of this piece originally appeared on Foggy Mommy.