My youngest whizzed along in front of me, front wheel wobbling as her little knees furiously pumped up and down, up and down. We broke through the patch of rain and into some soft sun all dimmed by forest fires and the August glow. My smile broke out wide and intense, shocking even me with its immediacy. The minutes past bedtime crept away and the sun sunk lower and lower. This first two wheeler family adventure, scrapes, timing and all, had been exactly what I’d been hoping for. And in family adventures, time with kids, and the expectation game. . .that is rare.
As quickly as summer fell upon us, it’s ending. Wrapping up far too quickly, we’re buying notebooks, researching new curriculum, and feeling blown away by the girls’ growth in math and reading over this past summer. 1st and 3rd grade breathing down our necks and the reality that we really are a growing up family feeling bigger and wider every day.
But this evening, this first big bike ride, it felt like we outran fall and felt every inch of summer along this trail. Stopping to pick heavy blackberries. Reaching high as we could for the fruit that’s nearly bursting.
Eliza fell, skinning the full length of her knee. And still, moments later, tear stained cheeks were met by blackberry soaked lips, and that salty air and salty skin was one big mash of summer smiles.
In a lot of ways this summer got away from us. My first summer working, attending an intense training, and Charlie taking on more side work and projects. Our family expanding in so many ways, we lost track a bit of the adventures and camping trips that usually punctuate our days. Replacing them instead with education, fulfilling work, and late nights spent snuggling up to nextflix instead of stars as we work to reconnect after long days away. One isn’t (neccesarily) better than the other, but I’ve been feeling pretty homesick for our summers of past. But this bike ride. These beach days. The slowing down and feeling in my bones the exponential growth of my daughters; These are the days. What we’ve lacked in quantity, I’ve felt wholesale in quality. I’d underestimated how intensely working could make me appreciate when I am just home. Wholly home. Not divided, instead just watching my girl grow her skills.
Watching a confident biker grow wings right in front of me. End of Summer is a gift and one taking every single bite out of it I can. These next few weeks can watch out. I plan to squeeze every last drop of summer sun, cool water, night sky, and fresh dripping berry juice right out of it and onto my hungry lips. My full arms. And my eager children. Fall is coming, but not here yet.
Huge thank you to prAna for sponsoring this piece and being perpetual advocates for soaking up every part of every season to it’s fullest. The top (Oberlie Hoodie) and leggings (pillar leggings) I’m wearing here have become my go-to for these end of summer days. Keeping me moving and cool through the afternoons but warm as that sun drops and the sky fills with stars. Adventuring on trails, water, and mountains. The pillar leggings are my current go-to for teaching and exploring, and this sweater has become a staple nearly always around my waist ready for those PNW temperatures as they drop quickly in the evening. For 15% off use my code: ESAUF18 at checkout.
All of prAna’s clothing is organic or recycled, they are incredibly dedicated to sustainability, transparency, and doing more each year to insure that their clothes are created ethically, as well as with as little negative impact to our environment as possible. They share ALL about this on their sustainability page, here, and are also always super receptive to questions, email, and feedback! This short film by prAna about the end of summer, and unexpected surfing trip, and India’s first female competitive surfer is also just filling me up this AM. Filmed, created, and filled with inspirational women. I’m so psyched to show this video to my girls, and beyond thankful for the work that prAna is doing to lead the way in sustainability, as well as centering women as powerful, brilliant, and dynamic beings in their advertising and media!