I love summer. I loved being a kid in summer. I love being a mom in summer even when the days feel at times too long and my patience feels too short. I’ve written about it in the past. I’ve wanted to bring back 1980s style summers of bike riding until the fireflies come out and drinking water straight from the hose. I’ve written about the rules of summer for my kids which basically comes down to never saying that you are bored and to please, for the love of all things holy, clean up after yourselves.
And all of that still holds true.
But another truth has sadly surfaced that people warn you about when your children are young but the days are 82 hours long so you don’t believe them: the years are short. They grow up too fast. Enjoy it. The time flies by.
Ugh. The grandmothers at Target are wise and they are right even if it feels that it couldn’t be farther from the truth when you have a toddler throwing a jellyfish loss of limbs tantrum in the cereal aisle.
My oldest baby is going to be a senior in high school next year. How did this happen? One day you are counting the minutes to bedtime and the next you are trying desperately to put the sand back in the hourglass that is rapidly bypassing you. We are running out of summers. Yes, I know that summers still come after she graduates but this is the last one that won’t include a shopping list for a dorm and evolving to work around the future demands of kids with careers. We can of course still do summer adventures as a family for a lifetime but the air and weight of obligations will surround us differently. Time evolves. And change can be beautiful. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t also be heavy.
For right now we are a party of five living under the same roof and the minutes are fleeting so my prime goal of this summer is to embrace it.
There will be a lot of space for yes. There will be more bonfires and sleepovers and trips to the ocean and staying up too late. There will be the background noise of bickering because they are siblings after all and I like to think that they have each other as a daily practice in conflict resolution (you’re welcome). But there will also be more laughter. There will be the sweet messy stickiness of being a kid in summer to hold onto a little longer. Because the one real truth of raising kids is this: you don’t get more time.
So here’s to making it count.
Happy happy summer kids…