Renegade leaves outside our door have begun to turn, audacious and red, they flirt from their gnarly perches, taunting the greens to join them, to clasp hands and run ahead. A brilliant cascade of reds, yellows and deep purples moves through the canopy of leaves, redefining the personality of the beautifully grizzled maples along our street. Beneath the trees, our front walk is speckled with bits of chalk art, flowers and suns, and pastel blurs born from the crisp rivulets of water that trailed behind as I watered the yard. Then, the rustle of leaves is joined by the whimsical call of the singin’ truck.

I smile, turning to look for the garishly decorated truck, swimmie diapers are scattered along the floor, a pair of princess galoshes lay on their side beside the door. As the truck appears, Briar runs to the door, breathless. Her skinny legs with knobby knees that pierce my heart and muscular calves that mirror my own, tremble.

“Can we do it, mama? Can get some money and get one popsicle pop?”

We have lived this summer to the fullest. Watching Briar now, her blue eyes impossibly light, twinkling with the wisdom of a spirit so young already knowing how to work a moment. I shake my head, saying we’ll buy a popsicle another day. She is not sad, happy enough just to have seen the truck. She waves and calls to the driver, “See you next time.”

She bends to pick yellow petals that have gathered in the corner of the door, castoffs from the basket outside. A golden ringlet catches on her eyelashes and she blows at it. The chimes of the truck begin to fade and sunlight peeks through a gauzy curtain. I can smell the the first kiss of autumn as the sounds of summer still tickle my ear, exhaling I feel a hope so pure that I shiver. Briar laughs, and so do I.