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  • Kristan Higgins

The last week of summer

Updated: May 3, 2022


The kids and pals at the Fourth of July neighborhood party.

I hate the last week of summer.

Summer, as we all know, truly ends when the kids go back to school. Forget September 21. It’s meaningless. Fall means new notebooks and pencils. Dearest Son will have to clean his room so his desk has actual workspace. Princess has to pack.

Every day is imbued with melancholy and love. On the blackboard in our kitchen, I wrote “What a beautiful summer we’ve had!” and the Princess drew flowers and swirls all around it. I took one godchild shopping for clothes; my niece left for orientation at her college, which is ten hours away. Dearest will be a senior. A senior in high school! We’ve been discussing The Walking Dead, a sure sign of the changing of the seasons.

My littlest nephew, vacuuming the cellar. Hey, he had a great time!

My littlest nephew, vacuuming the cellar. Hey, he had a great time!

But this last week…oh, it hurts! I don’t want summer to end. We’ve had so many guests, so many lovely little trips, a few days in Maine. So much sitting on the porch, so many dinners cooked on the grill in the backyard. Every day I wake up thinking, “Just a few more days. Please.”

By mid-September, when the weather starts to change and I’m used to the quieter house, I’ll be fine. By October, when I can wear sweaters, I’ll be in love with fall, posting pictures of our trees and getting leaf drunk.

F&D maine mansion

But for now, that old maternal yearning—to have my kids around me—is awfully strong, and I resent their schools for taking them away. I don’t want to go back to looking at the calendar every day, calculating where Dearest is and when he’ll get home. I don’t want to count the days till Parents Weekend at Princess’s school. I want this week to last forever.

flannery & mommy

And the damned thing just won’t. The eternal conundrum of parents—go off into this big world, be kind, do well, live your life…and know that Mommy can’t wait till she can hug you again.


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