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That Summer

We are all having that summer. The one that marked the summer between the before and the afters. We’re just all having it in different ways.

For one pool / PTO friend, it’s her Hot Dog Summer — the one where all her children can swim safely without her constant hands-on supervision. She can be poolside watching them, but not in the pool *with* them. We call it the "hot dog summer" after the year my brother was almost 4 in the summer of '82, and my mom could hand him a hot dog at the 4th of July Pool Party and he could wander off on his merry way with the other kids, and she could go back to her own conversation about the season finale of Falcon Crest.

For another, it’s her Last Kid Summer — the one where the last kid is about to graduate from high school in the coming school year (if we have one - that’s a blog for another day). Will this be her last summer with a kid at home? Will this be the last time she has a good excuse to go to the ice cream farm? What will next summer look like for her - after so many years of so many similar summers?

And for all of us, it’s the COVID Summer — where every sniffle puts you into a slight panic and you spend all your time wondering where everyone you know has been, and who they’ve been with. Vacations have changed, plans have changed, routines have changed, summer jobs and camps have changed. It’s a summer we’ll never forget, and we’ll measure all of our other summers against it — the good, the bad, and the boredom.

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