Summer used to last longer. I’m not sure whether we can blame global warming or the economy or Barack Obama, but someone did something unauthorized and now summer flashes by like lightning.
Don’t you remember being a kid and swimming through a summer day as if it were an ocean? And you’d get so bored because the days lined up in a single file line that stretched a thousand miles between the last day of school and the first day of school? You’d get sick of sitting in the dark living room watching the Electric Company with the drapes closed because you were bored with going outside and riding your banana seat bike around the block to visit all the off-leash dogs in their yards because you did that a million times already, almost as many times as you stubbed your bare toes and dripped melted Popsicles down your arms.
Now, you look up and find yourself practically in the middle of July and school starts in the middle of August and your daughter hasn’t finished that multiplication tables book and your son hasn’t started his summer reading and why, oh why, is summer almost over? You haven’t had enough fun yet. You haven’t even had a single Popsicle.
You could even prove to yourself that summer is fading away by going into Target and noticing the school supplies replacing the pool toys. And you are tempted to buy more Crayola crayons until you realize that your kids don’t really color anymore, except for your baby girl who just got her ears pierced and thinks she is mostly grown up. And you have twenty packs already that you discovered when you moved two years ago, though who’s counting?
I’m a little bit upset about summer breaking the speed limits. It’s a symptom of a much bigger problem, namely the probably of my rapid aging. I read an article the other day by 80-year old Oliver Sacks called The Joy of Old Age and while I hoped that it might be true (the joy of old age), mainly I feel grim about the sands of time sliding in a great avalanche which leaves me sputtering and wondering how my babies grew so fast. Why didn’t I take more pictures? My imaginary To Do List is pages long and I have barely even gotten started. (For instance, I meant to travel back to Tahiti and yet I haven’t even had a valid passport in dozens of years, ever since that one I got when I was sixteen and still wearing that lavender crew-neck sweatshirt every day.)
I’m not really fighting it, though. When I recently noticed a cluster of gray hair at my part–well, “cluster” might be an exaggeration, but at the sight of that gray, I decided on the spot to stop highlighting my hair and to revert to my natural hair color, only this time with strands of gray running through it. This is as glamorous as it sounds.
How can you fight aging? You can either let the future drag you along by your graying hair or you can stand up and keep moving. Try to keep up. Leave a trail of breadcrumbs, not that you’ll ever be able to go backward. You can pretend that one day you’ll meander back and notice the things you missed the first time you jogged past.
Tomorrow we’re going to the beach. I don’t want to hear that we’re less than six months away from Christmas. SLOW DOWN. You move too fast.
You’ve got to make the morning last. (Okay, so I just drifted into a Simon and Garfunkel song . . . did you hear the tune in your head? If so, you are ALSO OLD.)