In the past, summer has just been a continuation of the year. My stay-at-home mom responsibilities have been the same — no matter the season. This summer is different. My oldest (turning six in June) will be heading to first grade, and my youngest (turning five in October) will start Pre-K4 full time in the fall. It is the last summer before both of my boys begin school full time. I could be a sentimental mush, but my heart is overflowing at the thought of it all.
My husband first mentioned “the last summer” as we discussed upcoming summer plans and activities. To be honest, before he said “the last summer,” most of my thoughts about the boys starting school full time had to do with my upcoming freedom in time. After six years, I will be home alone. Will I prop my feet up, watching HGTV, and eating gelato? Will I plant a garden or get started on some Pinterest projects? Is a new job or working on another degree in my equation? Will I just be giddy housework can now be accomplished without interruptions? My mind was full of the endless possibilities I had not considered for six years. I basked in the options, and I was excited.
My anticipation for fall tempered as the phrase “the last summer” echoed.
That husband of mine has an uncanny knack for dropping thoughts like sprinkles on a cookie. I cherish every one of them. So, thinker that I am, I began to consider the last summer and its significance. A few things came to mind:
1. The last summer can be a time to celebrate the end of one season of your life and the beginning of another. I had many days when I wondered how, when, and if I was going to make it past the round-the-clock labor of infant and toddler love into preparing my boys for a world of exploration. Well, when it’s time to begin school, you can safely say you have made it one substantial step further. Celebration is in order.
2. The last summer can be a time for some new adventures. My youngest son will be happy to know he is now of the age and height to get on the car ride he has yearned for at LEGOLAND. As they age and mature, children grow in their understanding and application of the world around them. It’s time to experience some summer fun I had previously put off for “when they get older.”
3. The last summer can be a time for savoring. I have promised myself, whether we are out on adventure or just at home being silly, I will position my heart to enjoy our time together and try not worry about much else.
As I consider my family’s new season in life, I can see the last summer as a time to be in full bloom. I am looking forward to an epic summer, making memories and maximizing moments with my boys. We will engage with each other all the more purposefully and intentionally during our time of transition. They probably won’t think twice about the mini-celebrations and special adventures I have planned or why I am relaxed about the clothes not making it to the hamper or the dirt tracked on the kitchen floor. They may squirm as I pat their heads during movie day and hug them during art activities. My guess is they won’t look back after the summer is over, comb through photos, and swoon as they remember this year as the last summer before they both started school. But I will. This summer, I will let them play and watch them learn like I have done every summer. I will stand back a few steps as they laugh and explore with each other as they have in the past. Only this last summer, I will take a beyond obnoxious amount of photos. This last summer, I will make a point to get in the photos no matter what I look or feel like. This last summer, we will make memories. And this last summer, I may just need a tissue.
Are you experiencing any family transitions this summer?
Lovely piece! I hope when I get to that mythical place of “our last summer”, I will chill a little too about housework, etc. and enjoy more play time with my kiddos. 🙂