“We only get eighteen summers with our children.”
I have seen that quote ubiquitously splashed across social media as of late. Quotes like this tend to have the ability to make my heart bleed that I will not have tiny babies forever while simultaneously making my mom guilt shift into over drive. Sweet bedtime snuggles and fireworks reflected in awestruck eyes will fade into clipped college phone calls home for conversations about the “real world”. In my limited time as a mother “the days are long, but the years are short” is holding more true than anything else.
Often I find that well-meaning individuals, with the benefit of both an uninterrupted night sleep and roughly twenty years of hind sight will tell me to enjoy this time because it is so fleeting. The intent is sweeter than the mixed emotions that inevitably bubble up inside in response. There is nothing worse than someone telling you to enjoy something that is a challenge. A sweet struggle for certain, but a challenge nonetheless. Of course everything worth anything is at one point or another a struggle. Motherhood is no exception.
With the Forth in our very recent rearview mirrors, I am transported back to my own childhood frequently. Lazy days of 600 minute summer reading challenges, filling up on sugary popsicles (before social media would declare you an unfit parent for that level of sucrose ingestion. Simpler times.) Days spent babysitting and evenings spent catching fireflies. What I do not remember is my mother being frustrated by hauling wet towels, making dinner that no one ate, or missed naps due to schedule disruptions. In talking with her now, undoubtedly these moments occurred. One of my greatest hopes is that my children see their childhood summers through the same albeit likely rose colored glasses of my own.
With this goal in mind, I want to make some summer resolutions. I have pretty much given up on all of my New Year’s goals: Get in shape (I’m playing the two babies in two years card), be a kinder person (this is a lifetime goal, there’s no timeline. Also, my sass streak runs deep), and spend less (one word: Target). New summer resolutions are as follows:
Get my hair wet.
Yesterday, Ben asked me to run in the sprinkler. And I did it. My full sized booty even went down the Little Tikes slide despite the clearly marked weight restriction flying off the end in a fit of giggles.
We are a pretty strict bedtime house because that is literally one of the main reasons I stay sane doing bedtime alone so often. This summer, I will strive to let some of this slide for some specials occasions, but not every day. Mama’s gotta stay sane after all.
I counted the other morning how many times I said no before lunch. I lost count by breakfast. This summer I want to say yes to silly games, pickles with breakfast, and all the playing. I also want to say yes for me to relaxation, really good dessert without a guilt hangover, or a solo run.
I challenge you to come up with your own list of summer goals. After all we only get eighteen summers. And maybe, if we are really lucky we’ll get some beautiful summers experiencing parenting from the other side of early child hood. I bet that is pretty sweet too!