This is a post I've been meaning to write for nearly a month, because it was about that long ago that I took a deep breath and said good-bye. I think each family has its rituals for marking the passing of the seasons. In some families these may be well documented and anticipated events (the Soule family of the SouleMama blog do this beautifully). In others they happen with no fanfare, aside from the occasional grumble while hanging plastic over the windows or removing fall's jetsam from the gutter.
In my household, I know that spring has truly taken hold when my partner comes in from work and after the customary hellos announces "It's first day of no-socks!" with a smile on his face and a wiggle of his Birkenstocked feet. At that point my sandals are usually already due for a wash, from being worn in New England's fifth season - mud. But Z's adoption of sandals is a sign that the warm weather is really and truly here to stay. The woolens get washed and hung to dry (like a reverse version of Christmas) and outdoor living moves into full swing.
As summer gives way to fall, I see Z return to his beloved black socks without a backward glance. I wait as long as I can to do the same (not just because I despise matching clean socks together, though that's part of it). Finally the day comes when only a fool would subject their bare toes to such temperatures and into the sink my workhorse Tevas go. Soaking in hot soapy water, they give up the dust from my garden, beach sand long trapped in the velcro, stains from popsicles that melted too quickly, as well as the scent of bug spray, chlorine and I'm sure plenty of sweat. Now they're tucked away like woodchucks and chipmunks, waiting for the return of warm sun and green grass.
P.S. If you enjoy picture books (or have kids in your life who do) I recommend the book A Flock of Shoes by Sarah Tsiang. It's sweet and really funny.