Beginnings and Ends

William turned thirteen (13!!!) on Saturday, and on Friday night just before bed, he just sort of turned soft and quiet, and he said to me, “I’m feeling nostalgic.”

And later, “I’m not sure I want to turn thirteen.”

So I had to be strong for both of us, and tell him that a number doesn’t really mean anything, and that he should continue to enjoy being himself (his Wonderful, Amazing, Delightful self), and not worry about getting older. Nothing really changes–right?–just because he’s offically become a teenager.

But I’ve wondered how it’s happened: just when did these years sneak by?

The only way to manage it, I told him (this endless, relentless creeping of the days) is to enjoy today. Today. Today. Today. Because even if you’re doing that (which is impossible, really. It’s impossible to enjoy today all of the time), it goes Much Too Fast.

The crickets sang in the grasses. They sang the song of summer’s ending, a sad, monotonous song. “Summer is over and gone,” they sang. “Over and gone, over and gone. Summer is dying, dying.”
The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last forever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year– the days when summer is changing into fall– the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change.
Everybody heard the song of the crickets. Avery and Fern Arable heard it as they walked the dusty road. They knew that school would soon begin again. The young geese heard it and knew that they would never be little goslings again. Charlotte heard it and knew that she hadn’t much time left. Mrs. Zuckerman, at work in the kitchen, heard the crickets, and a sadness came over her, too. “Another summer gone,” she sighed. Lurvy, at work building a crate for Wilbur, heard the song and knew it was time to dig potatoes.
–Charlotte’s Web, E.B.White


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