The grandkids have gone home. But right before they went, they asked me to take a picture of them with their summer friends. Years from now when they look at the pics, they'll have good memories of playing out in the yard with their friends.
I remember the summer friends from several years. Those are treasured memories, even after all these years. Summer friends are special. You meet under unusual circumstances, become best friends and part at the end of the summer to go back home.
During the hot, hazy days of summer, you roam around as a small loyal pack, joining together to face all the other little packs of kids. You're fiercely loyal to each other, share your snacks and bottled water or soda, squabble among yourselves and make up before parting each evening.
Every day you spend time plotting and planning what you will all do together the next day. Tragedy is a rainy day when you can't play outside. Your group draws together in a mutual aid society for every scratch or injury, rushing inside in search of first aid materials.
Summer is over. The kids here will be going back to school soon. Apartment friends are even more transient than friends who live in houses. Perhaps the next time my granddaughters come to visit, their summer friends will have moved on. In the meantime, they'll have lovely memories of their friends from the summer of 2009.