Over the past few weeks, as another school year comes to a close, I have been seeing more and more posts and comments from parents bemoaning the fact that their kids will be home for the summer. Look, I get it… it’s hard to keep them busy. As a Work At Home Mom, I find it much more difficult to work while they run roughshod around the house all day than when they are in school. Moms who work outside the home don’t have it any easier either; trying to find affordable places to care for them and things for them to do while being away from home during work hours is a challenge.
Aside from a few weeks at camp, my three youngest will be home this summer and will look to me to be a constant source of entertainment and food. The “I’m bored’s” and “Can I have a snack’s?” will be on a continuous loop. The refrigerator door will be opening and closing a hundred times a day and they’ll be traipsing in and out of the house with dirty wet feet letting the bugs in and the air conditioning out. But, you know what? I’m absolutely OK with that. As a matter of fact, I’m truly looking forward to it and here’s why:
My oldest son graduated from college last May. My whole family traveled down to Texas to attend the ceremony… the culmination of four years of hard work on his part and four years of support (emotionally and financially) and worry (try waiting on a text reply or phone call when your child is thousands of miles away… enough said) on my part. I can not even begin to describe the amount of pride and love I felt as I watched him walk across that stage to receive his diploma. That cliche “my heart was bursting” doesn’t even come close… it was an immeasurable wave of emotion.
As we headed to the airport to return to New York it hit me… we were leaving and he was STAYING there in Texas. I mean really staying… as in Texas is now his home; he will live and work there for at least the next few years and who knows where after that. I was so much more emotional (read sobbing mess) leaving him behind there to start his new “adult” life than I was when he left home for college. At least while he was in school there was still a level of attachment/dependence and he still came home to visit on holidays and summer breaks.
While I’m so happy for him and excited for his future, I still can’t help being overwhelmingly sad that this chapter of his/my life has come to an end. His home is not under my roof anymore. There are no more summer vacations from school for him and no more long stretches of time with our family being all together. I am mourning the loss of this time and know that from here on out I will always be longing for those stressful yet beautiful chaotic summer days with him… days that will never again be so readily available.
So bring on Summer vacation, I’ll take every minute I can get with my kids! Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s not going to be all rainbows and glitter. I’m sure there will be days when my patience will run thin. They’ll leave messes all over the house, argue with me and each other, and more than once I will wonder how many days left until school starts again. BUT in those trying moments, I will remind myself of this: Every single second of every single day our children move further and further away from us and toward lives of their own.
Try to embrace and enjoy the summer days with your children as much as you can because before you know it… and sooner than you want… you’ll be left with only yourself to entertain, no dirty wet footprints to wipe off the floor, and opening the door to a much emptier refrigerator. And Summer will be just another season.
It’s sad…isn’t it. How dang fast these kids grow up. You are so right, summer is the one time of year when everyone has permission to completely unplug and spend significant quality time with the kids. I’m with you…seize the day and enjoy every bit of summer with the kiddos.
It IS sad….trying to enjoy every second I can whenever I can! <3
Yep. Truth. All of it. Thx for sharing. <3
Yes…not taking a minute for granted!
You said it best! Enjoy what time you have with them especially if it’s not all Pinterest perfect. Just take the time to be and soak it all in.
Thanks Ellen! And you know…my life is so far from Pinterest perfect!! LOL!
What a beautiful and heartfelt commentary. Thanks for the wake up call!
Thank you so much!! xo
I heard lots of moms saying they were dreading summer as they picked up their kids from the last day of school, and I cringed. I have 2 in college and 1 in 4th grade, and I love summers with my kids at home, even if it’s not always the best of days. I am well aware that I won’t have many summers left with them, so I will enjoy them while I can.
Time goes by so quickly!! I only have a few more summers left with my middle two…I plan on enjoying every minute!
I could not agree with this more if I had written it!! My kids are 14 and 16 and I was practically marking days off of the calendar to get summer here. When I got to the part in your post about your son staying in Texas, I started crying. I know it will be a blink before I am in the same position and I just can’t imagine it. I’ve been blessed to be a WAHM for 16 years and yes, some summers have been more challenging than others. But to be able to watch Netflix with them at lunch or even just drag them to the grocery with me because they don’t have homework makes me so happy. I don’t want to miss a single minute of the time I have left with them.
A lovely piece, and so true. My kids are 19 and 27, and live 1000 miles away. I treasure every minute together.
Thank you!! Sending hugs….I know how hard it is when they’re far away!
Susan, you are 100% right, it is not easy, but it is so worth it and the minutes fly by into years and then they are gone. I know your sadness, even though it is filled with joy and pride- it is HARD!
Knowing you have raised a kind, independent and wonderful son, is a gift, but I hear you on learning to appreciate the moments- they pass by, so we should embrace them
Thank you for the reminder and the beautiful message!
Thank you! I wasn’t prepared for how difficult this next chapter is going to be. I plan on spending every second I can with my kids and not taking the time for granted!!
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