The other day I ran into my neighbor on our street with her two little girls running in circles around her. One was dressed as a princess and the other was in a bathing suit, her ponytail still damp from a trip to the pool earlier that day. I asked how they were doing and she said, looking rather exhausted, "Well, it's officially summer." She was referring to the fact that both girls were out of school and fully entrenched in summer-mode - trips to the beach, afternoon popsicles and sleepovers mid-week. And it made me slightly envious to realize that unless you're a kid or have some of your own, there's no real way to delineate the different seasons of the year.
On the first day of summer break when I was in high school, my friends and I would jump in the car and head out to Stinson Beach. It was usually overcast and cold, but I loved that it was our tradition. We'd lie in the sand (so what if there were occasionally piles of blankets on top of us?), eat burgers and soft serve from The Parkside and eventually make our way over to the surf shop. That day was always special, but more importantly it was what it signified.
As an adult, one of my biggest complaints is that each day tends to bleed into the next. And while I appreciate routine, there's something to be said about traditions that repeat themselves year after year. I'm not sure what that looks like at my age, but it's my goal to define that for myself, starting this summer. I can only hope that whatever it is will taste as good as that Stinson Beach ice cream, eaten hurriedly on a foggy day with friends.