Summertime is melting away like a popsicle on a Texas sidewalk. Every morning I wake up thanking God for another summer day with my kids, and every night I grieve just a little bit that another day has passed and we’re one step closer to school supplies and meet-the-teacher and new shoes and fresh haircuts.
I’ve seen plenty of funny articles about how moms are on the verge of killing their children, counting the minutes until the school bell rings in August. I’ve seen the Facebook statuses about how long the summer is, about how wonderful it will be when the routine comes back. I don’t know why–none of that rings true for me.
While other mothers grieve the beginning of summer, I mourn for weeks after school starts again. While other moms can’t wait to have a routine, I struggle to keep up with the routine. While mamas everywhere grin all the way home from dropping their kids off on the first day, I leave in tears.
It’s not that my kids never get on my nerves. They do, of course. They are small people with underdeveloped levels of maturity and patience. They are constant question-askers and they like to sit really, really close, even when it’s 105 degrees. But, try as I might, I just can’t tell them to stop asking questions. I can’t bring myself to move away when we are sitting together in a sweaty lump on the porch swing. All I can think about when we’re together is how limited the time is, how quickly the moments go, how funny they are, how loud they are, how alive they are, and how quiet and lonely things will be when they are gone.
I can’t decide if it’s a deficiency in me or if it’s a gift. But, every day I am so keenly aware of how fleeting this experience is. Not just summertime, but motherhood.
Right now, though, summer is slipping through my fingers. So, while many mothers are counting the days until the first day of school, I am just waking up each morning happy that we have no place to go.
And, at least twenty times a day, I look at my kids and I try to burn into my mind what they sound like, smell like, look like, think like, and talk like this summer. Because these few months of freedom with a nine, a six, and a two year old will never come back to us again.
I know what will happen. Fall will come, right on schedule, and it will be precious and exciting and fun. I will be thankful for another awesome school experience for the kids. Emerald and I will get into a routine. And, my longing for summertime will fade. But, for now, I guess I am just trying to live right in the middle of the gratefulness. I’m trying to drink in every second as if I may never get another one.
And, as summer continues speed by, I will hang on tight and sit as close to my kids as possible, even when it is 105 degrees.
My grandmother was the same way. She loved summer and spending time with her kids. She also would miss them terribly when they went back to school. It’s nice to hear from mom’s like you. Too many just complain about their kids.
Thanks for this comment! Your grandmother sounds like my kind of woman! 🙂
Melissa- Love your blog.
–I so hate to be the one to say this (not wanting to spark a furry;) but, you sound SO much more like a Home Schooling Mom than you can imagine.
–I did NOT think of myself as a home-schooler. It was sort of on my radar, but not in any way a certainty.
–Then the “gift”… my son was born too hurt to be away from us, my husband and I worked SO long and hard just keeping him off a feeding tube. So, when the “state” wanted to put my 18 month old baby in a classroom for hours every day… I said, “NO.”
–It wasn’t until years later, that I stumbled upon like minded mamas (homeschooling mothers of 7 and 8 kids) that I realized, “Wow, I guess I am a home schooler, after all.”
–By the way, we have succeeded with home-based therapies ever since, and “tee” is not only up to grade level in reading and science, but he is well above grade level in math. Just had to share. 😉
Teezmom, I don’t rule out home school, but at this point in my life I don’t think it’s for us. It would have to be because of some special circumstance. I love this comment, though! Thank you so much for sharing part of your story!
I *always* loved summer with my boys. I hated it when they had to go back to school. And now that my oldest is dead, I feel like releasing some unkind words toward parents who wish away that precious time with their kids and want them back in school. It’s a gift that you enjoy them.
Pam, your words are certainly a wake up call for us when we wish the time away. Thanks so much for commenting!
I am a homeschool mama, but I feel the same way. I enjoy our relaxed routine in the summer, and I know I’ll miss taking random trips to the splash park or pulling out the popsicles and the kiddie pool when we are ankle deep in lessons about telling time and reading this Fall.
I completely agree! Enjoy your summer , every second! You will never regret it! My “kids” are all in their twenties and the time was a blink of an eye!
I always felt the same way. Now that my children are grow adults I’m so glad we enjoyed our summers to the fullest. Wonderful memories to look back on.