The traditional calendar mark indicating Summer’s watch over the planet is coming to an end is just around the corner. Some cities will experience high temperatures for a few more months while others will start donning light jackets and anticipate the changing of arboreal colors.

The age group that experiences the most drastic change during this time of year are the high school graduates. Some will start a job or an apprenticeship, others will be off to college. All will be part of a right of passage that will see bittersweet tears at the end of August as most friends scatter in different directions. Everything that was known up until this point is about to change.

The summer after high school graduation is a magic time. Teenagers will have more freedom that comes from a loosening parental grip as they are ushered closer toward the border of adulthood. But, below them, the safety net that caught their falls during high school will inevitably be put to the test one more time during the last summer of their youth. It’s a good thing. The kids need to make sure the net still works. Even though they’ll deny that they do. And parents will want to carry the weight of the drama one more time before it relocates to become a visitor and no longer a tenant of the family home.

It’s been a great summer. And for those who graduated high school last spring, it has been the only summer of its kind.