This summer, or really, before the summer, I told Ryan that this was going to be the best of our lives. I just knew Duke was going to be my new favorite age (he is) and that we'd finally crossed some kind of imaginary threshold where he requires less care and is up for more adventure. I wasn't wrong guys. This is the summer that Duke became a little companion and was down for every drive, every ice cream run, every sunset swim -- just every everything I could dream up last minute. And he was equally happy to run naked through the sprinkler in the backyard while I perched up on the deck with a book, so long as I looked every time he yelled "Mom! Watch dis!" which is about every 4.2 seconds.

I'm truly sorry to see it ending. Not the cool Duke part, I know that's only beginning, but the warm summery part. There's just something easy about leaving doors open and hearing those little feet running in and out while I cook dinner. Everything is a season and summer will be back next year, but we'll all be a year older and I feel the weight of age so much more now that I have a baby. Not so much that I'll be older, because I'll just be the older version of myself, but that he'll be older and one year is so much more of a difference while they're little.

By far, the best part of this summer was Duke. Sweet, almost 3 year old Duke.

 Last night, he hugged me and casually said "lub you so much Mom." He does that so rarely unsolicited that it catches me every time. Five minutes later, he told me I was mean for making him wear pants, so a little ying to that yang, but I'm a champion of remembering only the parts I'm interested in.


And now, everything I loved this summer.

We spent lots of time in the car this year, finding secret beaches and being tourists in our own area. I'm generally such homebody, but I gotta get Duke out of my house and entertained, so we were out and about most weekends.

I mean, it gets easier and easier as Duke gets older and this summer we a nice return to spontaneously jumping in the car without packing for an hour. No more stuffing diapers in purses, turning around because we forgot a bottle or just giving up because one or both of us can't stop crying.

This year there was lots of grabbing dinner and going to watch the sunset at the beach, meeting friends at St. Ambrose, and waiting our turn on the big slide.

I mean, obviously. We only live about 15 minutes away from the family cottage, but we move in with everyone else when those weekends come along. Stuffing 20+ people and a handful of dogs into a house with just enough room for all the beds and a kitchen, there is an immediate spill out into the yard as soon as the sun comes out, or as long as the bonfire stays hot.

I will never understand why this isn't the main priority of our culture. Why are weekends like this so short and infrequent?


Squeezed in after work and between dinner and bedtime. Packed into too short weekends. All the other good stuff.


I have been writing in this space for 7 years. Sporadically and with different motivation as I grew up and older, but one consistent thing is that I have almost always written a post at the end of the summer with all my favorite moments scooped up in one place. It's always been one of my favorite posts to write, but it's also always a little bittersweet because it always comes at the end of a really good season. But in January, when summer feels so far away, I am always grateful to have a quick look back.

In the meantime, I'll be soaking up the last few official weeks of summer with regularly scheduled ice cream cones and beaches and sunscreen for the foreseeable future. No summertime sadness over here!

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