The Summer of 12

This was a great summer.

Last year's summer felt long and drawn-out and sticky and messy and unkind.  Maybe it was the stars un-aligning.  Maybe there was a hitch in my getalong.  Maybe it was just my summer of un-fun.  There were a few shining moments, but mostly when I think about the summer of 2013,  I will look upon it as a summer of forced growth and learning.  I think I had a summer like that when I was 11 and then again at about 17…maybe 29 too.
 Now a few junky  summers out of a lifetime of summers is not that bad.   I know it's kind of funny to hear an adult talk about summer like a kid.  But dang...why not?  I mean if we look at summer as just a few hot months in a long year, we could really lose our sense of wonder.    Christmas, birthdays and summer.  Weddings, vacations, gatherings with people we love.  Surrounded by a whole lot of work and more work.   Something to look forward to durning this ride around the sun.

 So Luke, our 12 year old, had a pretty good summer.  We were lucky enough to tag along.  He is at the perfect age where he still likes to hang out with us.  He only gets embarrassed when we start to sing loudly in front of strangers about random things like lunch or our day or when we take too many pictures of him.  Or when we try to touch his hair, like Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers.  Don't touch Beltre's hair.

We did not take a cruise or travel anywhere exotic.  Unless one thinks that West Texas is exotic.  It is kind of romantic in it's own dusty/starry way.  So here's a brief rundown of the "Summer of 12":  We went to 2 beautiful weddings,  1 Cubs game, 2 Pecos League Baseball games, 4 or 5 Triple A games, 1 double A game.  We saw the Marfa Lights and The Milky Way.  We went to the top of 3 large structures, The Willis Tower in Chicago, The Reunion Tower in Dallas and The Tower of the Americas in San Antonio.  We watched the fireworks over Lake Michigan from a ferris wheel.  We played 2 games of mini-golf.  We went swimming in Balmorhea.  We went sailing with friends on Canyon Lake.  We went swimming in Barton Springs in Austin at 9pm and howled at The Super Moon.  We took a tour of UT with my best friend from California and her daughter.   We woke up early and beat the heat, to go hit some baseballs at the local field many times.   We went swimming and rope swinging at Blue Hole in Wimberley, TX, twice.  Played Wiffle Ball and learned how to play Pickle Ball.  (which, by the way, is fun as hell)  Speaking of pickles, we ate fried pickles at least 6 times.  We went to Schlitterbahn Water Park…and Luke and his buddy came back to the meeting place with two 12 year old girls they met in line.   We visited the grandparents many times and ate many meals with them.  We visited the students of The Austin Harmony Project and got to share some love.  We visited many friends and relatives and stayed with them.  We heard a lot of awesome musicians.  We planted a garden and picked fresh vegetables.  We planned a solid 2 weeks where we hung out as a family.  Just the 3 of us..and an occasional dog…when we could take him along.

Now it's 100 degrees and the first day of school.  It still feels like summer, but the energy in the neighborhood is most definitely different.  Moms were hi-fiving each other at the Starbucks today.  There was a sense of calm on the roads after 9am.  There was  a sigh of relief over our big little town.  Like someone exhaled all at once.

Me?  No hi-fives here.  I got a little blue.  I missed acting like the tour guide for the 12 year old.  He will remember a big vacation to Maui or a spring break to the coast, when he's older.   He probably will look at this summer as just another boring summer in the string of long long days without his friends.  But I will treasure it.  I will remember it as a summer with my buddy.  My kid friend.  The summer that I forgot about exercise and diets and slept in.  The summer of 12.  The summer before he became girl crazy.   The summer he talked about baseball all day and all night long.  His first love.  Baseball.  His life's dream.  Baseball.  His heart's desire.  Baseball.  His summer that he dented his bat, sent it back to the company and they returned it..but better.  They sent him a more solid, powerful version of the bat he had.  And it fits him perfectly.  Because when we bought the bat at the beginning of summer, he was a different kid.  He is now a 7th grader…with great strength,  great growth and great heart.

We live a funny little life.  The husband travels bringing his music to the good folks of the world.  I get to sing some and write some because he works so hard.  But the greatest gift is that I get to hang out with the old soul kid a lot.  We have some slim months.  We pray for a lucky catch so the husband can rest some.  Throw the line out and hope that a vacation is attached to the end.  Or a 2 days off in a row.  Not because we need the latest new car or big home.  An extra bedroom would be cool, but really we just ask the Universe for more time together.  More time to spend with the preteen before he is driving.

The summer of 12.  The summer when he said, only once, that he was bored.  I think I'll add that to my resume.

Tuesday, August 26   12:34am           Grateful.


  1. oh MY! this one did it. you made me get teary. no wonder walt said it was his favorite yet. the precious, old soul twelve year old is so very blessed to have you and his dad. as always, thank you THANK you! oh, and who wouldn't want to touch that lovely hair?!


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