Hello again, it’s been a while. Each time I start writing again, I feel guilty for stopping, but it’s like I can only write when I have the need and desire to. Trying to write without them would leave you reading a very boring post. Anywho, here we are! Today is Eclipse Day, AKA I-closed-all-the-blinds-and-I’m-not-leaving-the-house-day. My eyes are bad enough as it is, I don’t need to push my glasses prescription anymore with faulty eclipse glasses. I wish I could lock the kids in a window-less room today until it passes just in case they decide to peek outside, but I think that borders on child abuse so blinds closed it is.
Life is good, people. It’s the end of summer, and while I am SO READY for fall, especially the (slightly) cooler weather, I’m a little sad about the end of summer. My kiddos are getting so big (evidenced by their recent fall shopping trips) and with Riley starting school soon, it just makes me realize the days of them being home with me all day will end soon enough. I read on another blog post recently that a mom thought of her summers in terms of how many she got with her kids. 18 summers before they head off to college or are considered adults. Less than that before they don’t want much to do with their parents during summertime if we’re being honest. But I can’t even think about that because it will make me cry. The day Riley doesn’t want to give me hugs and kisses will require massive amounts of wine on my part. My girl is all about affection and cuddles.
I have 15 and 16 summers left with my kids, respectively, and thinking about it in those terms makes me less eager for summer 2017 to end. Obviously we could think this way in any capacity, using any season or holiday as a marker of time. And of course we will still spend summers with our kids after they turn 18. The way the world is currently, we might have them for another 30 summers, who knows? And hopefully they’ll still like us once they’re grown up and we’ll get to see them a lot anyway. But I digress. This blog post I read just stuck this idea in my mind of 18 summers and trying to focus on your kids during this time, the magical idea of summer kids have on the last day of school with seemingly endless days stretched before they were taking pictures on the front steps with new clothes and backpacks.
I’m a big believer in not catering to your kids’ every want and desire. My kids have a ton of toys and I’m not always the best at turning down their request for a cookie, so I’m not preaching here, but I don’t think that just because they want something, they should get it, whether it’s a toy or snack or for you to paint their nails RIGHT NOW because her hands don’t look pretty without pink nail polish. I know they don’t need crazy vacations or days planned with crazy activities to have summer be magical. Summer magic is there whether you help it along or not. From my own summers, I most remember running around with my friends in the neighborhood, hanging out by the waterfall behind our development or walking across the main road to the Appalachian trail boardwalk, feeling a tiny bit badass to have made it across the road without my parents. I think magic lies in the little moments, like cutting work early to take them to the pool at my in-laws’ neighborhood, going up to their boat to jump off into the lake even if it’s only for an hour, having ice cream sandwiches for lunch or an ice pop on the deck on a hot day.
Summer is magic for entirely different reasons than we usually work ourselves up to think, especially as adults. The one thing I want to try to spoil my kids more with isn’t toys or trips or treats, but my time. It is so hard for me to let go of my To-do list and just hang out with them, but if I’m purposeful with more of my time, it wouldn’t seem like such a big deal to watch a movie with them before or after dinner, or play in the yard EVEN THOUGH it means I didn’t have time to cross another task off my list. That’s the kind of magic they’ll remember. It’s exactly what I remember from my childhood.