In the stream of social media I paused long enough to read an article a few weeks back, an article for the life of me I can’t find now to link to this post. Nevertheless the message of the article was important enough to linger. It was a parenting article that told the story of summer and how important the memories we make with our children over summer are. More so the article cautioned parents not to rush through summer or the holidays, quite simply because for some us we only have ten more summers left with our children.
Reading the words ten more summers I instantly thought of AJ who is turning nine, in ten more summers he will be nineteen. Nineteen – I had to soak that in for a minute without passing out. Ok, so at best I only do have ten more summers with him, before life and independence offer far more exciting summers than the ones spent with mum.
I almost stopped breathing.
Now I know that ten summers is ten years and ten years is a long time in anyone’s perception. But these last nine years have flown and maybe the next ten may go just as fast.
I think back to my childhood memories and most of my memories are of summer. Summer holidays we took as a family, summer outings with cousins, books I read over the summer, play dates and days at the beach over summer. Very few of my memories are of rainy winter days. Very few of my memories are cold and miserable. Almost all of my childhood memories are in the sun.
I guess that makes sense really since we spend most of winter in the routine of school days, scheduled sports and early nights in. The days are short, dark and cold and very little time is spent doing more than the everyday routine. Our summer days are spent so differently.
Summer days lie in the hands of the poets, the artists, the dreamers, those who paint the sky in wild dreams and abandon. Summer days catch us off guard and summer nights whisper promises in the amber haze of distant sunsets.
We have always jetted off on holidays the moment school is out and Christmas lunch leftovers are cling-wrapped and tucked away in the fridge. But not this year, this year we are staying home. When we are away on holidays I don’t give our days a second thought. We are always out on an adventure, whether it be a theme park, the beach, long days spent lunching with friends, there is always something carefree and memory worthy that we are doing.
As for this summer, I need to be careful that the memories we make are not only of mum spring cleaning and telling my boys to find something to do while I clear things around the house. It is easy to fall into that trap when we are home. The trap of ticking things off the list, catching up on things we have neglected to do all year. When what matters most is not so much the pile of boxes in the backroom or the old clothes you need to sort through.
Ten more summers, this summer is one of them. This summer I need to caution myself against old habits and perhaps be more conscience of hanging out with my boys. Doing fun stuff, every day, making sure my camera is always in my handbag, calling friends to catch up, being in the sunshine. All these things need to be important this summer when we are home, just as much as they are important when we are away.
Ten more summers, I want to make the most of every single one of them.
What are your plans for this summer?