i saw it yesterday. just a flash, but i knew it just the same. we were at the doctor's office for collette's five year check up. he had just finished up and we were waiting for the nurse to come in to give collette her two shots. she was sitting on the table, and i was standing next to her. there was a brief conversation, do you want to hold my hand? yes. do you want your shots in the arm or the leg? arm. do you want to watch or do you want to put your head on my shoulder? watch. the nurse came in and stood by us. and that's when i saw it. collette sat up straight, squared her jaw and got ready for the shots. and the expression on her face. it was fleeting yes, but in that instant i realized it was an expression she will use her whole life long. every time she squares that jaw to take on something, it will be there. the same one at five years, 25 years, and lord help me 85 years. and it was heartbreaking and fantastic all at once. and i felt five myself and 25 and 85. and i squared my jaw and held her little tanned hand.

this is our last week of summer vacation. eliot starts school on monday and collette marches right on into kindergarten on wednesday. they are ready. they are more than ready, and here i find myself dragging my feet. kicking the dirt, listening to cicadas not wanting to let the time go. and i know now that a huge portion of my love of summer is my love of childhood. of the magic of summer. of the laziness and heat and sweat and boredom and joy of summer. last week i was in oklahoma for work, and tuesday evening i was roaming around a borders books looking for something. i was poking around the bargain table and found a book of greek mythology and i was whipped back in time to my 11 year old self. that summer i found a big book of mythology and i devoured it. i laid in my bed and read it cover to cover then started back at the beginning again. oh sure, i know zeus likes to dabble with pretty young ladies and do all these crazy things, but those were not the stories that held me. my favorites always were the stories that took something we know and found a different way to explain it. i love persephone the best. i love that greeks decided that the reason we have a winter is because she ate those six little pomegranate seeds, and for six months of the year her mother roams the earth in sadness, missing her daughter and the world goes cold because of it. how lovely is that? how much more fascinating is that than talk of axis and climate and seasons? and really isn't it the secret of childhood? that time when we are on the cusp of becoming adults and learning how the world really works, but we still have the stories. the bright explanations that make us laugh and clap our hands? don't get the idea that i live in a dream world. i very much live in the real world, with a real life and a real family. but there are times when i like to take a small retreat. and i indulge more so in the summer. and i love it. so i find myself sad that this is our last week. but what can i do but square my jaw and face it? if collette can, certainly i shall too.

(i've been reading a lot of steinbeck, can you tell?)


Blogger Danielle said...

this is beautifully written.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous amanda said...

Oh, hannah. You write so beautifully. And your children are so blessed.

Here's hoping you can squeeze every last drop of 'summer' out...and carry it right on into the autumn with you.

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Alicia A. said...

oh, hannah...

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think this post is absolutely wonderful, hannah. your words are true, and your thoughts are so eloquently expressed. thanks for this.

9:37 AM  
Blogger denise said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. It brought back thoughts of childhood and summer and a longing for something I can't quite pinpoint... Thank you for that spark. I'll keep thinking.

10:38 AM  
Blogger jana said...

wonderful post. and the photo, too.

10:45 AM  
Blogger house on hill road said...

this is beautiful, hannah.

10:51 AM  
Blogger emily said...

this is beautiful. i love an adult that understands childhood-- and that perhaps their own childhood is so very close to the surface.

happy summering!
(what steinbeck have you been reading?)

11:49 AM  
Blogger melissa f. said...

hey, how 'bout you and david switch around for next months 1000...

12:07 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

so beautifully written, hannah. right there with you.

1:12 PM  
Blogger jen said...

such beautiful words, hannah. it is wonderful that you take the time to write these things down with such a busy life. which steinbeck have you been reading?

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

most excellent.

I've never tried greek mythology much, but I like to lose myself in dinosaur land or pretend I'm a cheetah. Kind of the same thing, right? ;)

1:57 PM  
Anonymous erika said...

half way through reading this, i was thinking how steinbeck it sounded. and this is a very beautiful post. thank you :)

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

have you read any of rick riordan's percy jackson and the olympian series?

2:41 PM  
Anonymous nikki said...

i love how you captured this moment and the essence of summer.

3:49 PM  
Blogger frecklewonder said...

that was just awesome.
really wonderfully written.
thanks for sharing :)

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

Now I get to say it...

oh hannah.

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Rynke said...

It's a beautiful story and you write so so great...thanks for sharing these moments!

4:42 AM  
Blogger UNIFORM Studio said...

just beautiful hannah.

6:12 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

oh so good.

7:17 AM  
Blogger RW said...

lovely words
we have a few weeks left of summer break but we have lost the sun.

transition time.

your words/ images have helped me to appreciate all the small moments


7:33 AM  
Blogger peachey said...

you had me in a lovely trance with your words.

p.s. my husband and i married in a square behind a museum, and stood in front of a fountain and statue of persephone

9:40 AM  
Anonymous shari said...

this piece of writing is something else. such a tribute to summer, childhood, and the joy of life. thank you for sharing. xox

10:53 AM  
Blogger kristina * said...

so beautiful how you collect these moments like pearls on a string - they are so precious.

3:16 PM  
Anonymous JP said...

Hi, thanks for sharing that.

The greeks had a very good understanding of the earth and the stars and planetary movement... just wanted to suggest that despite knowing how it all worked, the but the myths were used to tell us why.

Besides, without blogs and cameras it made for good entertainment.

4:54 PM  
Blogger A Day That is Dessert said...

This is one of the most beautifully written things I've ever read. It makes my heart ache.

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Laura. said...

oh, man. reading this gave me a flashback to my own pre-kindergarten shot experience, and the feeling of determination that went with it and my mother's reaction--so familiar.
such good words. i just wandered over here, but i will likely stay.

9:48 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

i never take the time to write, really write. but that's why i love reading blogs like yours-- you write the way my heart speaks.

1:38 AM  
Blogger lottie said...

i keep coming back to these words, hannah. they are so very good.

3:43 AM  
Anonymous elle said...

I have a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I'll hug my own little ones tighter.

peace to you.

5:03 AM  
Blogger Prisca: said...

put down the steinbeck! ;) girl, you just need to watch a good action movie! makes ya forget all this deep stuff...

6:51 AM  
Anonymous Vanessa Rae said...

this is my first time on your site and I am taken back. Thank you for sharing yourself, your stories. You write beautifully.

7:39 AM  
Anonymous heather Cohen said...

LOVEly. you are so raw and honest and bold. just my type! thank you.

here's to indian summer weekends and afternoons.

8:42 AM  
Blogger boatbaby said...

Made me stop and think -- thank you!

5:58 AM  
Anonymous Fiona said...

This is wonderful. Beautiful.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Heather said...

this is so beautiful, tears came to my eyes, and goosebumps. My little guy is off to kingergarden next year and I am not look forward to it....but he is already talking about it, looking forward to it. So, bittersweet, oh so bittersweet.

Thank you.

5:37 AM  
Anonymous blair said...

Hannah, this is beautiful. I feel it too. This summer, more than ones in the past.

8:06 PM  
Blogger mysweetbabu said...

This is beautiful, just what I needed to read as I am feeling torn between sadness that the summer is ending, and the excitement surrounding the arrival of autumn! We are making the most of these last weeks. Thank you.

4:41 AM  
Blogger kristen said...

girl, i was checking in for some light reading and ended up with tears streaming down my face. it's posts like these that make me appreciate blogs...seeing a window into your mind and heart through your words that i don't think would come out the same if we were talking face to face. thanks for sharing.

8:00 AM  
Blogger bugheart said...

sad but
just perfect.

8:31 AM  
Blogger beth said...

oh han. i teared up a bit reading that line about collette's jaw. you're a good mother. i'm glad you saw that, saw her - and took the time to note it. and of course that photo stings me a bit too with its beauty. *sigh*

5:12 PM  

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