Earlier this week I woke up to the sound of Oliver jumping off the bed, his way of letting me know that he needed a bathroom break and didn’t care that mommy was deep in slumber.
I threw aside the covers and stumbled blindly downstairs to let him out. He sat by his empty water bowl and stared up at me, obviously condemning me for forgetting to fill it up (bad mommy!). As I made my way to the sink to fill it up, I was forced to turn on the kitchen light and groaned as I squinted to avoid the blinding light. By the time he was done gulping his water, and was finally ready for his bathroom break, my eyes had adjusted to the light and I was officially 100% awake. Damn.
So I decided that, rather than just letting him outside and waiting for him to finish his business, I’d join him. I padded onto the deck in my barefeet, boxer shorts, and oversized t-shirt. I sat on the step as Oliver sniffed his way around the yard, apparently unaware that it was the middle of the night and it was not the time for lollygagging.
But he did force me to stop and take in the moment. And for a few minutes, I appreciated the silent beauty of a summer night.
The houses around us sat in quiet darkness and everything stood still, except for the summer breeze that gently lifted the branches from the trees. The distinct summer smell, a mixture of freshly cut grass, budding flowers, and cool air, washed over me and I shivered in my PJs.
The only sound I could hear was the distant whir of cars. I wondered who they were, these people driving around at 1:00 in the morning on a Sunday night (technically, I guess, Monday morning). The teenagers and college kids on summer vacation—the day of the week, the time of the night so far away and unimportant in their minds. The sleepless, perhaps out for a late drive to soothe their busy minds. The people whose schedules don’t fit into the typical 9-5, where 1:00 a.m. might mark their “lunch” break or drive home. It could be anyone. It’s easy to forget the rest of the world doesn’t always crawl into bed before the 10:00 news.
Most of all, the few minutes I spent basking in the summer night made me nostalgic. I remember when I was the teenager on summer vacation, spending countless hours with friends in the moonlight—at a park, in a backyard, even in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant (we had quite the hangouts, didn’t we?). During the summer, the days were spent working or taking the occasional trip to the beach. But the night, oh the night was the very best part. Friends gathered, plans fell into place at the last minute, and adventures spawned out of the most random of moments.
Ahh, the innocence of youth and summer freedom. There are days when I miss that—an entire summer off and 3 months of making memories with your friends—but honestly, I’m really happy with where I am in my life now. It’s not to say I don’t wish I could pull together a last-minute, all-night party with my closest friends on a random Tuesday night and not have to worry about getting up and looking presentable in the corporate world the next day, but I’ll take it. Being a teenager’s overrated anyway!
What about you? Do you miss summer vacation?