18 Summers

18 Summers.  

That is the thought that keeps running through my head, and through my heart. I am given 18 summers with my children. If I am lucky, perhaps a few more.

With one of my children, my 11 year old Coco, more than half of our summers are gone. Time is fleeting. It goes so fast. One of the surest ways to discover this is to stand next to your own child, at the age of 11, and almost stare into his eyes. Knowing that just 11 short years ago he fit inside your body. Where does time go and how does it move so quickly?

My Coco headed off to Middle School today. It was like sending a piece of myself off into the big, scary, world. For those of you reading you may think, come on, it’s middle school, how scary can it be? How about 487 incoming 6th graders scary? How about 1200-1300 students between 6th – 8th grades scary.

Time goes so much more quickly than I wish it would. As I dropped Coco off this morning, just steps from his future High School, I realize that the next three years will go extremely fast. Before I know it Coco will be headed off to that very high school, and then, shortly after that, we will begin the trek to his college. To leave him in a strange town, with strange kids, and hope that I have provided him guidance to figure out his way. While at the same time wings to assist him in being successful in finding his way.

Today will be quiet.  Both Coco and Lou in their respective schools. Learning, and hopefully not just things that can be taught in books. I find myself sitting at home learning as well. My lesson….that every moment God allows me to have with my children is a gift, and it’s precious, and it’s not something to be taken lightly, nor for granted.

The 18 summers we are given are a gift. Each one that comes to a close cannot be gotten back. Today I will reminisce on the fun we had over the summer. Days at the pool, the amusement park, shopping, trips to get ice cream, movies we watched, trips to the water park, times we played in the front yard, golfing, tennis, basketball, baseball, even the days we spent cleaning the house, as there are lessons to be learned that it cannot all be fun and games all of the time.

I will reminisce and I will smile, over the fun we’ve had; I will then also cry, over the missing of Them. Many days I crave the quiet. Relish in it even. Today I will not revel in the quiet  No, rather, I will find it painful, and I will use this time to simply love them, as best I can, from here, while they are there.

18 Summers.  

Collectively, I’ve spent 18 summers with my children already. Leaving me 18 more to go.  Interesting thought. This realization. One child is 11, one is 7, leaving me 18 more years between the two of them to enjoy each of them.  To spoil them.  To not give a care in the world about anything but them. May I embrace the gift of my children. May I take joy and pleasure and may I be grateful for every day of summer that I have been allowed with them thus far. May I also look forward to nine months from now, to the next summer that we all get to spend with one another.

Time goes quickly. Please help me to remember to enjoy the time that I have.  As 18 summers, while in theory seems like a long time, in reality, it goes very, very quickly….

May today’s quiet be palpable.


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