August 19, 2002

The End of Summer For

The End of Summer

For the past 10 years, the end of summer, for me, has been symbolized by the departure of my parents back to their teaching jobs in Tokyo. It's become a ritual of sorts: I talk with them into the evening prior to their departure, and then I load up their bags and cart them to the airport. Along the way, my father bemoans the fact that they hadn't been bumped up to business class and they would have to endure 14 hours in coach, as if that somehow represents a serious injustice. There's the hurried farewell hugs and the stern warnings that I should "be careful" and "watch yourself." As long as my parents breathe, I will forever be seven years old in their eyes, requiring their warnings and doting parental habits that, I learned long ago, will never be broken, nor do I want them to.

I left them at the airport and drove away, my thoughts already focused back on my own life while they no doubt did the same. My summer is over; no more gofling with my father on the weekends, no more reading on the deck while my mother pokes her head out asking if I want anything to drink, no more of my mother's insistence that I "have something to eat." Returning home is to return to my carefree youth, with my life set on auto-pilot for a short while as my parents shower me with the countless little things that make worries fly out the door and I'm able to relax. Now I'm back to living my life, with my folks half a world away. It leads to a strange lonely feeling, but it quickly passes.

Where did the summer go?

Posted by Ryan at August 19, 2002 04:31 PM
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