Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Last Splash — For Now, Anyway

Here it is, the end of summer, the last splash before the rush of the fall and the change in the air when the high pressure from the north starts to push the cooler air from Canada down our way.

The end of summer, when the children's pool that opened up in the newly-restored playground across the street from us will drain its chlorinated turquoise brew to reopen sometime around Independence Day 2008. (Sidebar: Hooray, hooray for new public places and spaces, that I have elsewhere commented seem to be so few.)

The end of summer, when there's a kind of melancholia in the air. The title of a collection of short stories by the Irish American novelist James T. Farrell echoes in my mind: Can All This Grandeur Perish? The answer: Of course, not only can it perish, it surely will. And we with it.

Oh drat. There I go, melancholic again.

The Buddhist and Hindu traditions both recommend meditating on the idea of one's death. And the Puritan preachers of the Massachusetts' Bay Colony suggested imagining yourself on your deathbed, looking back over your life. I'm not going to go that far, but will just look back over one summer, this one, and say adieu to some of the summer's delights . . . .
  • watching Sweet M splash in the public pool, with all of a summer afternoon's joyous commotion, and she is completely unperturbed by the splashing of others (this is a change)
  • dicing summer-super-ripe heirloom tomatoes into a vinagrette for a one-vegetable salad
  • microwaving sweet white corn in the husks, the perfect microwaveable container
  • staying up late with Sweet M because there's no need to get up at 6:30 to drag oneself off to a school bus
  • water sliding with Sweet M, even with a mangled toe
  • trying to get up in time to catch the full eclipse of the moon, but dozing back to sleep for just a bit too long
  • lots of excuses to eat ice cream
  • family reunions and Fourth of July parties where Sweet M can roll out entirely new and unexpected behaviors
  • the discovery of a new ice cream, Ronnybrook Farms Ginger Creme Brulee ice cream — so good I wish it were in the local supermarket or back in stock at Fresh Direct
  • getting the perfect shade of pink toenail polish for the season's last pedicure
  • and the fire escape garden, this year also rendered in pink, in honor of Sweet M's favorite color
And next year, hopefully a summer without surgery, so we can add snorkeling back to the list of delights!

Next list: what I'm looking forward to in the fall . . . .


kristina said...

Ginger cream----sounds delightful enough to last into the autumn! I've already begun my semester so the days have been heavily tinged with coffee----our last splash is a sailing event with Charlie on Monday.

Hope M's school year is the biggest splash of all!

floating in space said...

It's always so hard to say goodbye to summer. Best wishes for a wonderful autumn!

MothersVox said...

Yes, Kristina, you've got it . . . the ginger creme brulee ice cream is one ice cream worth writing about. Ode to to ginger creme brulee. And welcome Delilah; I'm just visiting over at your blog this week.

Mom to Mr. Handsome said...

That ice cream sounds delicious!what an awesome flavor. It is sad to see summer go. But I also love fall :o)


Kim Rossi Stagliano said...

Hi, Mother's Vox. I love the end of summer. The crisp in the air that sneaks up on you, the new school year for the kids.

Say, are you going to come to John Robison's Autism Memoir launch at the B&N in Union Square on the 25th?? I blogged the details. Hope to see you there!


Anonymous said...

Don't know if I could manage the ginger creme brulee, as I'm not so hot on icy things. There again a year without surgery would make up for it.
Best wishes

John Robison said...

I know you've stopped by my blog from time to time. . . my book Look Me in the Eye finally goes on sale next Tuesday. I'll be reading at the Union Square B&N at 7, if you're able to stop by.

Anonymous said...

Hi there!
Nice to see other parents blog here sharing same experiences... I'll pass by again...

Unknown said...

Hi MV, hoping the school year is starting out nicely and that you're not having the bus hassles of last year. I have had my own adventures with the OPT this year, but happily everyone I have spoken to has been unfailingly polite and sweet. That's been a revelation!

Anonymous said...

i love your list! and i await the delights of fall. as much as i long for summer and mourn its passing, fall has always been my favorite month.

happy fall to you and sweet m!

Teresa said...

Revised Edition of Mother’s Memoir Rekindles the Potential for Hope

“I was beginning to take for granted the fact that we could move through a morning, an afternoon, perhaps even a whole day without a flip-out or a freak-out,” writes Kelly Harland, the mother of Will, a boy with autism. “Sometimes, in my indefatigable optimism, I get to a place where I really believe the whole nightmare is over. But something eventually comes up again, out of the blue, in a flash, an electrifying bolt.”
Seattle-based Harland, a teacher, singer, and writer, has masterfully captured these “flashes” in a compilation of evocative vignettes entitled A Will of His Own, Reflections on Parenting a Child with Autism [January 2008, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, $18.95, 978-1-84310-869-6].
Harland’s prose is vivid, her insight is razor sharp, and her story has merit for anyone who has ever experienced the utter vulnerabilities and joys, heartaches and little miracles which go along with raising a child not described as “typical.” Her chapters involve sometimes frustrating and heartrending depictions of life with a child who reacts fearfully to everyday events such as checking out at the grocery store. Yet, in the revised edition Harland adds glimpses of William in his teenage years that provide encouraging indications of hope, learning, and growth.
Harland writes, “Whatever has led us to this—years of speech therapy, hours upon hours of my own input based on instinct and a few educated guesses, his father’s incredible talent for showing him a way to walk through this world—William can see his dream, and it looks good. In fact, it looks perfect. And he’s telling me about it.”
Above all, it is the love for Will—for what he is, not for what he might have been—that shines through this book, and we get to know him as a charming, intriguing, and undeniably worthwhile human being. “Those with autism may have a very different way of looking at the world from the rest of us,” writes Jane Asher, President of the National Autistic Society, in the book’s foreword, “but if we can just step back occasionally and see life through the eyes of those like him, we might learn, not only something about their problems and what we can do to help, but also about ourselves.”

Kelly Harland is a Seattle vocalist, writer, and voice teacher. She is on the faculty of the music department at the Cornish College of the Arts. Her voice has been featured not only on radio and television, but also in backing vocals with Ray Charles and Etta James. She has written articles for the magazine Autism Advocate and contributed to the Cup of Comfort book series. She lives with her husband Chuck Deardorf, her mischievous cat Georgie, and her son William, who has autism.

For further information please contact:

Teresa Finnegan
Marketing Assistant

Jessica Kingsley Publishers - 20 years of independent publishing 1987-2007
400 Market Street, Suite 400 • Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA
Tel.: (215) 922-1161 • Fax: (215) 922-1474
Visit our website:

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Erin said...

hi there, i just wanted to drop you a note to say that I really appreciate reading your blog and hope that you will update soon.

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