The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of to do lists, school prep, and a whole lot of transition. Our summer together was great and we are still in denial about it being over. There were some hard moments in this season, a lot of tears, and emotional struggles. But this summer helped us heal in more ways than one.
10 Summers Left
There are challenging moments and like a lot of moms, I look forward to a little break. The truth is those hard moments are just a blip in our time together. The kids are such a joy to be with. I’m all too aware that one day, they won’t want to hang with us as much, if at all. Summer is our time to really enjoy each others’ company, We get to adventure together and make a ton of great memories, without worrying about schedules or obligations.
Every time I see that article circling around about how we only have 18 summers with our kids, I full on ball. The clock just keeps ticking and we can’t stop it. It means that we have just 8 summers left with our big girl and 10 left with our little boy. It breaks my heart to think about it. I really wanted for this summer to be a special bonding time between for us.
My relationship with my daughter has suffered the last two years. Between pre-teen moments and the struggle of regulating her emotions (all super amplified by autism), it’s been a challenge to say the least. Summer always seems to be the best remedy for all of her challenges. She is just so joyous during this season. I remember when the transition into summer was so hard because of the lack of routine. Now it’s a welcomed change.
Our son has his moments, but more often than not, he has a great attitude about pretty much everything. He gets so excited about summer and looks forward to the time we spend together as a family. We wanted to front load his summer with as much fun as possible because we knew he was headed into a difficult ear surgery toward the end of it. Surgery = no fun.
So as usual, summer’s superpowers worked their magic. Summer gave him the time he needed to be a kid, without a worry in the world. It gave him peace of mind. It reminded him that even though there are tough times, we always have so much to look forward to and be grateful for. He had the opportunity to be still and begin to heal both physically and emotionally from his experience in the hospital.
Summer healed my daughter and I in a very different way. Our relationship was still not the best over break and although it’s hard to say, I continued to feel like my daughter didn’t want anything to do with me. All of her frustration was directed toward me. Some extremely tough behaviors would reveal themselves whenever something fun or preferred would end. It felt like they would never let up. It wasn’t until a few days before school was about to start that she had a breakdown, which led to our breakthrough.
She was very anxious about going back to school and confided in me that she would be really homesick and upset to be away from me. I felt so bad to see her struggle, but I also realized in that moment that I was her safe place. All the days I cried wondering how much harder it would get seemed inconsequential as I saw her pour her heart out. I realized that she was enjoying all the time we spent together too, even though some days it felt like it was her mission to drive me absolutely batty. It suddenly made these past couple of years of daily behavior challenges and heartache all worth it. Summer made her realize how much she treasures this time together.
Treasure Your Summer
I think summer does that for all of us. Even when are kids are wearing us down and it seems like they find joy in making us insane, we know it. When we are exhausted and we are just waiting for the day we can send them packing back to school, we realize it. You see it in the way we count down the days until summer starts after a long school year. We all treasure it, even if we don’t always realize it when it’s happening.
Sooner than we would like, our summers together will come to an end. Before more time passes, we have to take stock in all the wonderful things the time brings us. We have to look at all the healing powers of this season and how it can bring us closer together. Saying goodbye to summer is never easy and it gets harder every year. I’ve come to appreciate this season so much more for all that it’s done and all that it has meant for our family. I hope you will too, even in the tough moments.