I must admit that I love the lazy days of summer. On non-work days, the kids and I stumble out of bed when our bodies are ready to be roused and spend the day together, at home or off on an adventure somewhere. The pace of our lives becomes so relaxed and, spending nearly every waking minute together, we become even more familiar with each other and my heart sings with joy to get to learn a bit more about each of my children.
Then there are the final weeks of summer. I admit to a rising feeling of panic at the end of summer vacation. The first day of school means not only that our summer days together are over for this year, but also that each of my children are now a year older. Each year my children seem a little less my babies and a little more property of the world.
Each year my children seem a little less my babies and a little more property of the world.
For years I didn't talk about my end of summer feelings. My social media fills each year at this time with parents screaming out how ready they are for the summer to be over and their children to be in school again. I long wondered if I were alone in my feelings of sadness, if I were the only mother that clung to the last days of summer as if they were my life raft in a turbulent sea.
I know that there will be many blessings in the upcoming school year. I look forward to those moments of watching my children learn and grow. There will be many moments of joy.
And, when school begins, I will bask in the knowledge of how lucky I am to have healthy, growing children that are a year older. I know as a pediatric nurse, that not all parents get to have that joy.
I will bask in the knowledge that my children are in a great school district and will thrive and learn under the tutelage of their teachers.
I will bask in the knowledge that I am lucky enough to work outside the home only a few days per week and have enjoyed many summer days with my children.
I will bask in the knowledge that my children will thrive under fall's routine and find joy in the extracurricular activities that they will each choose.
There will be so many joys to come in the fall season. I know this. But today and tomorrow and every day until that first day of school, I will allow myself a moment of mourning for these summer days of this year that will never come again.
If given the choice, I just might choose to live in these days forever -- the slow days of summer with my children around me and no schedule in sight.
Never again will I hold my children in my arms at these ages. Never again will this summer come to pass. There are many wonderful days ahead, of that I am sure. My sadness of the passing of this summer does not mean that I believe the days ahead to be anything but wonderful. Yet, if given the choice, I just might choose to live in these days forever -- the slow days of summer with my children around me and no schedule in sight. A forever after of a mother with her young children immersed in the bliss of summer days.
I will try my best to tuck as many memories as I can into my heart, so that I can carry these days with me always.
This piece first appeared on The Zen RN.