I’m calling this “the last summer” even though it’s not.
It’s the last summer before my oldest child enters high school. I already feel that the countdown to graduation is on and I know that four years are going to go so fast that I’ll be begging time to slow down.
My kids are at camp this week and my house is so quiet (except for the snoring of two lazy dogs.) Today I’m thinking about all the summer fun we used to have. I would plan outings to the Zoo, Children’s Museum (for the really hot and humid days), parks all over the city and other counties, and pool days. Days where I would load up strollers, snacks, extra clothes, snacks, sunscreen, more snacks, and we’d go out and have an adventure. (The photo above is from a day trip to “Day Out with Thomas” that we attended in 2013.)
I don’t remember any meltdowns, but I know they happened.
I don’t remember being frustrated, but I know I was.
All I remember is the fun. As I sit here I see flashes of my children eating ice cream at the pool. I remember days spent watching them explore shady playgrounds as I stood close by, and just a few years later I sat on a bench as they played with friends–no longer needing, or wanting, me close. There were Saturdays when we would bike for miles on the local trails–always stopping for ice cream.
Now it’s me always asking “would you like to go somewhere today?” and I’m usually met with a “no thanks” or a “I have plans with my friends.” And in my head, I’m shouting “But I want to spend time with you! Let’s go on adventures like we used to!” Now it’s new adventures. Going to the mall so my daughter can purchase the new backpack purse she wants, and getting to hear her talk about anything and everything. Being asked for a ride to Game Stop so my son can upgrade his gaming headphones and have him suggest video games that I might like. There is a new adventure of time spent at the lake where we boat. And I know in a few years I’ll forget any frustrating days and I’ll wish for these adventures, too.
All of this to say–enjoy every bit that summer offers. Go for the bike ride. Check out a park in a different county. Spend all day at the pool. Run through sprinklers. Read books in the shade. Visit museums and zoos. Do all the things with your young children while they still want to do things with you. Go now before you’re like me and feel the countdown to the “last summer.”
Chris is the Director of Meridian Hills Co-Op, mom to a tween and teen, and wife to a construction business owner. When she isn’t managing the schedule of her family you’ll find her working for her husband to balance the books. She is passionate about all things play and makes sure that her children still play as much as possible. She’ll talk to you about all things Marvel and has thoughts on who the best characters are. She lives on the northwest side of Indianapolis with her husband, two dogs, and one mischievous cat.