When I was a little girl, the last few weeks of the summer were filled with mixed emotions. It was still summer vacation but I knew that fall and school were looming around the corner.
In some ways, I feel like that little girl except now I am a mother and instead of summer vacation, I feel like I am in the summer of motherhood. And like that little girl, I don't want summer to end.
Summer has felt like the best season of motherhood. Sure, the spring of motherhood was spectacular. I experienced motherly love for the first time and the miraculous growth of my babies to become toddlers. There were so many delectable moments: first smiles, first steps, bear hugs. There were so many moments when I wished I could freeze time and capture the delight, innocence, and charm of my babies.
But like springtime, with it cold days intertwined with perfect days, mothering babies and toddler was exhausting and difficult, at times. There were sleepless nights, fussy eaters, double strollers, and truly terrible twos.
The summer of motherhood is exactly what you’d expect – it is relaxed and calmer and truly amazing. My sons are now ten, eight, and six, and I have experienced so much joy at these ages that I wish I could make time stand still.
Life is easier. My children dress themselves, brush their teeth by themselves, and read themselves to sleep. This summer involved no strollers, no separation anxiety, and no fear of pools and beaches. Instead it involved a myriad of camps where my sons learned, grew, and had fun. This summer included two kid-free weeks when my boys were with my parents and a myriad of weekend adventures.
I watched my six year old son learn to ride a bike. I watched my ten year old son play electric guitar for a Beatles cover band. And I watched my eight year old son learn how to play improv jazz on the piano.
The highlight was a trip to Italy. We saw art, we relaxed in the Tuscan countryside, we enjoyed great food and card games in the evening. I would never dream of going without my children.
Summer has been amazing. So it’s no surprise that I’m starting to feel the pangs of sadness that I felt as a child - that sense of sadness that a wonderful time is ending. But at this point in my life, it’s more than just this summer. I feel pangs of sadness that my summer of motherhood will soon end and I just don't want it to.
Sooner than I think, I will be in the autumn of motherhood. My kids will be teenagers. I suspect they will want to spend less time with me. They may dread family vacations. And they will, no doubt, be sassier.
I feel like a broken record when I say that motherhood just flies by. There are so many moments when I wish I could stop time - keep my kids exactly as they are and never let them change. This is a moment when I really feel that way.
Unfortunately, I have no way to stop time so I am trying my hardest to enjoy every moment that I have during this amazing summer of motherhood.