The Boys of Summer...

Nobody on the road,nobody on the beach.

I feel it in the air,the summers out of reach

Empty lake, empty streets,the sun goes down alone.

I'm driving by your house, though I know that you're not home...

And I can see you, your brown skin shining in the sun

You got your hair combed back, sunglasses on, baby

And I can tell you, my love for you will still be strong

After the boys of summer have gone.

Some things you can never have back. I used to complain (a little) about the full yard I seemed to have, every summer, for almost as long as I can remember. Our summers here at the Atchley House could have easily been entitled, "The Summers of Boys". Boys in the yard, boys in the trees, boys in the cul-de-sac, and the steady bounce-bounce-bounce of perpetual basketball games.

But school has started this year, already. And for the first time, I realized....this was it. This was the very last and final installment of the Boys of Summer.

For they are all becoming young men.

The tears flow, sudden and unexpected, like a summer storm, even as I sit here typing. My oldest boy has already faded away from the summer scene, having worked full time when school let out, for a couple of years now. Next summer, my youngest, I am sure, will be working full time - doubtlessly saving his money for the coveted Teenaged Ride.

I know. It is a different take, a different perspective on the classic Don Henley song. Lyrics and art can be pliable like that, sometimes. They can be re-interpreted. I won't hear the "Boys of Summer" in quite the same way, ever again. Summertime will never be the same, either. It will have to be re-sung and re-interpreted and re-invented...the lyrical beat of sunrise and sunset, and hot days, and no school, and popsicles will someday apply to future grandsons.

Freckled faces, dark tans, plastic sunglasses from the Dollar Store, water hoses full force, and all the shouting that somehow has changed from tenor into bass. It will vanish, and is vanishing before my eyes. I've never been one to be maudlin. I move from one season into the next rather seamlessly, compared to many. But oh, what I wouldn't give to be able to convince myself that the Boys of Summer - my boys - will still be out there in the sun, young and fresh faced and innocent....forever.

They will live on that way, in my heart. In that mother's heart of mine that aches, sometimes.

Oh yes. "I can tell you, my love for you will still be strong...after the boys of summer have gone..."
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