Summer is quickly fading and I feel like I’m among the minority when I say I’m not too excited school is starting soon.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done my fair share of yelling and losing it with my 4 kids over the Summer (seriously, how much effort does it take to remove your sopping wet swimsuit from your bedroom floor?). My little darlings have eaten us bare, trashed the house, stayed up too late and been grumpy pants for days afterwards.
Lest you think things are idyllic over here, there have been chore wars and plenty of discussions about expectations and behavior but I STILL love Summer and I’m sad it’s ending.
Eighteen Summers is Not Enough
When I was a new mom, with only my less than a year old firstborn, I remember another mom with older kids remarking to me, “Eighteen Summers is just not enough. Your kids are only home for 18 Summers and then they’re gone. I mean, just gone,” as she snapped her fingers and threw her hands in the air.
I nodded my head and tried to look sympathetic as she went on about time flying and the woes of kids growing up too fast. In my head, I really had no clue what she was talking about; the fact that Target had set out school supplies seemed kind of thrilling, it gave me a whole new area to browse!
Fast forward 12 years, now I’m the mom of FOUR and I’ve observed there aren’t even 18 whole Summers you get with your kids. Summer jobs, mission trips, internships, and away camps all become part of the Summer norm and those kids you once struggled to keep busy are busier than you. And perhaps I’m feeling more sentimental than usual this year because my oldest will turn 13 this month.
13, an official teenager, I’ll be the mother of a TEENAGER!
And this is where my reluctance to let Summer go comes in…so I technically have 5 more Summers with her, right? FIVE?!
Five is a small number. I know those days aren’t going to be filled with pool parties and playdates, with trips to the library because she’s read all the books we got last week, or lazy Sunday afternoons at the beach until sunset.
I’ve seen the shift happening this year in her, the independence becoming greater, the ability to sleep for 12 hours in a row returning, the desire to be around friends all the time. I know we’ve parented her to produce some of these results(the independence, self assertiveness, questioning of information) and this is a natural progression and yet…
I don’t want to stop taking her to the waterpark or the science museum. I want her to still think those things are awesome. I want her to build forts all day with her siblings while we hang out in our pajamas. I want her to think crafts are cool and popsicle stick dollhouses are worth the effort.
But the deal with parenting is, it’s not really all about what I want.
So, I’m not excited school is starting and Summer is ending because a whole chapter is coming to a close and I’ve never been good at endings.
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