Originally Posted August 23, 2019 on Social Media • By Lesa Quale Ferguson
This time of year with a cool breeze coming off the lake in the evening and that anticipation of school fills me with melancholy. As a teen, this breeze reminded me it was almost time to go home to Ashland.
Every summer I was required to be here in Buffalo. It often meant that I missed out on something – a scholarship to go to the Minneapolis children’s theater with Cooper, a role as Queen Gertrude in a production of Hamlet at the Festival, volleyball camp, a chance to go to Europe with kids from the drama department. Upon my arrival here, my resentment would evaporate into the heat and humidity. Here were my favorite people – my grandparents, my prickly aunt who was forced to drag me around with her, my temperamental uncle whose girlfriend took me to the beach, my other grandparents who had a shop on the corner, and all the neighborhood kids who treated me like I was exotic and thought I communed with bears in the wilderness of Oregon. There was under age drinking and dancing at bars and kissing boys. And when all that got too much, I walked home late at night to hang out with my grandfather. We watched old movies and ate tomato sandwiches fresh from his garden on Luigi’s Italian bread into the wee hours. Every summer I became ensconced until that breeze came off the lake.
The cool of autumn was approaching. I missed my mom and with it came my teenage resentments. I wondered about all that I had missed.
Tonight, as I worked in my garden and saw these faded blooms, I remembered those conflicting feelings and realized how much those summers play a part in the mom I am. I want it all for my sons: that rich, full family life AND for them to persue what brings them personal joy and inspires them. Isn’t that what summer is? A time of fruition.
I know that Dave and I are providing them both. I wonder still what it would have felt like to know a summer in Minneapolis or to have played varsity volleyball or to meet a French prostitute (quite the time those kids had in Europe) or to say onstage “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
It is the things we didn’t do that haunt us the most.