On Facebook and Twitter, I’m seeing countless posts from parents welcoming the end of summer and the start of the school year. For some, school has already started and you’re well into your way of establishing routines, but for others, we’re getting ready for the sound of school bells to ring.
Normally, you’d catch me being happy for summer to end. With three kids – I’m one of those parents who count down the days until the kids are back in school and my house is quiet once again. But not this year. Don’t get me wrong – I am looking forward to having a quiet house and not listening to the constant fighting between my kids, but for once, I’m savoring summer and dreading having it end.
For us, school begins on Tuesday. It’s hard to believe. Instead of doing frantic back to school shopping, I took my kids away for a week to spend with family and we’ve been enjoying every last moment of summer. When they haven’t been in a pool, they’ve been at a beach, collecting sea shells, dipping toes into the cold lake and enjoying listening to the waves. They’ve been living in the moment.
I don’t want this moment to end. I want my children to experience the peace and contentment of this feeling for as long as possible. I’m not going to rush their future (even though their future begins on Tuesday and it means I’ll be rushing around after school starts to catch up) and I’m not going to rush them into creating memories until the next time we can do this.
Living in the moment is a gift and it’s one that I’m happy to pass on to my children. It’s also one that I need to remember and soak in every once in a while. When they look back on this summer – I can already tell which memories they will hold on to. They are the ones when I let them go and explore, to be happy with themselves, to live life without my constant direction or oversight. Its when they walked along the beach and picked up shells and got their feet wet, when they climbed up a tall chair and took photos of the sun setting on the water. It was driving past the places I used to live, stopping at their great-grandmother’s grave and listening to stories about her. It was the nightly walks down to the ice cream store for mile high cones.
This year my kids may not be one of those who start school off with new clothes and supplies – but that’s okay. I honestly don’t think they’ll mind.