Summertime has always been my favorite time of year. Yes, even summer in Texas, although I could do without some of the 100+ degree afternoons and 80+ degree runs with my dog first thing in the morning that we’ve been experiencing lately. I love the long days, the endless sunshine, and even the late afternoon showers. People often seem happier and less stressed out. The pace of life seems a little slower, and there’s more family time with the kids out of school (and some of that is even quality time when they aren’t arguing with each other incessantly!).
So, what’s been on my mind?
Summer vacation will soon be over and the daily grind of school will be upon us: schedules, early wakeups lunches, homework, school projects, friend stresses, sports games, music concerts, etc. I’ll wonder where this time went, the quality time where we could just hang out and be together, stress-free, like right now in this moment while I write.
They will also be one year older, and one year closer to being out of the house and out on their own, and suddenly launching kids seems right around the corner for us!
Endings are so very hard and they often bring up a lot of difficult questions like, did we do enough together? Did we create enough special moments and memories? Did we get the most out of each and every day?
When I think back on my own summers as a kid, I remember the big and the small:
- Spending almost all my time in the water, either at swim practice or at the neighborhood pool with friends.
- Visiting Europe and being awed by its beauty and how cold it still was in July.
- Building forts in our backyard with the kids from the neighborhood.
- Traveling to an amazing number of National Parks around the country, and loving them all!
- Riding my bike everywhere- to see friends, to the pool, to the store, etc.
- Traveling far and wide to visit family.
- The creativity- making up new games, organizing a neighborhood mini Olympics, creating new recipes in our kitchen, etc.
Why share all this? Because I wonder, in this day and age of electronics, what will my kids truly remember about their summer vacations?
- Will they remember the epic family volleyball games in our backyard pool in Flower Mound, Texas?
- The endless miles we walked in DC seeing the monuments?
- Dancing in the summer rain as young kids in San Antonio, Texas?
- Skiing in July when we were living in South America?
- Family bike rides and morning hikes by Grapevine Lake in Texas?
- A fun-filled family wedding in Europe?
I hope they remember all of it, the highs and the lows, and how they all create this perfect life of ours.
But again, these endings are hard because I want proof, right here, right now, that I’ve done enough and that the time together has been enough; enough to create true, lasting memories, childhood memories, family memories, friend memories, memories to last a lifetime. Memories that bring connections in the form of “remember when…” that make us smile and laugh and cry, but ultimately bring us closer together when we can say, “yes, I do remember!”
I know, only time will tell in this instance as to what my kids remember. When they are my age, looking back on it all and thinking about their own summer vacations, what will they share with their future kids? Will they share the highs and lows and the “my parents used to…” stories? I hope what they choose to share is profound and captures the heart of it all- that we’re trying to create a meaningful and purpose-driven family life!