One Summer, and a Little Perspective

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One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

Last year, a particular phrase started popping up around the internet that caught fire– the concept of Eighteen Summers. You know, how we have 18 summers from the time our kids are born until the time we ship them off to college.  As is my nature, I started to panic.

Eighteen summers? EIGHTEEN SUMMERS? And I’ve already wasted 5 of them? ACK! I need to catch up! We need TO DO ALL THE SUMMER THINGS!

Then summer arrived, and I had deadlines to meet and kids to wrangle and I just could not get my rhythm. It was a hard summer. I was stressed. My kids were little, it was difficult to find any particular pattern that worked for us. I stayed up really late finishing blog posts, and waking up early with the kids, therefore getting very little sleep. It was exhausting and not very summer-y. Suddenly 18– wait, no only 14 more–  summers filled me with panic; I’d just wasted one of them. No wait, four of them. Or was it six? YIKES! TOO MANY NUMBERS!

One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

I vowed to do things differently this summer. I decided not to take on any paid posts aside from what I’d already committed to, and instead let my own content take center stage. Guest posters helped provide content with some great recipes in our Summer Salad Series. Instead of 3 posts a week, if I only had one really good post, I’d be totally cool with that.  I promoted older posts and hoped they’d help pay the bills. The strategy worked and I had the highest pageviews yet! But most of all, instead of saying no to outrageous ideas like hiking with the kids solo or making the 9 hour trek to the Outer Banks to spend a few days with friends, I embraced the word YES. I said yes to just about everything that came our way.

We jumped.
One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

We dreamed.

One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

We became butterflies.

One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

We got field seats for Billy Joel, and then got MOVED UP TO THE FRONT ROW.

One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

We dressed up like Jamestown peeps, circa the 1600s.

One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

We took the stairs. Okay, maybe not these stairs.

One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

I hung out at Haven, meeting this guy (Chip Wade) and seeing good friends.

One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

We ate ice cream. A LOT.

One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

We rode the rides.

One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

We slid down tree slides.

One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

We (um, I) drank by the pool.

One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

We were in the water (and our pajamas) every chance we got.

One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

 Even this guy.

One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

I got on a plane. Three times.

One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

We gazed.

One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

We got our good clothes dirty while running on the beach with friends.

One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

And we hiked through 27 spider webs.

One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

Thousands of miles on the odometer later summer is finally, oh-so-sadly, over.

One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

This is ONE SUMMER. Instead of stressing over making the most of 18 summers, we embraced our crazy.

Our crazy ONE SUMMER.

One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

Summer didn’t end with a whisper. It ended with us squeezing in every ‘YES’ I could find. Every treat. Every 6PM trip to the pool for one last swim. Every rock they jumped and each puddle they splashed. It’s as if we’re sliding over homeplate, worn out and happy and tan and sunbleached and ready.

One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

Ready to drop my daughter off at kindergarten, and amazingly shed not one tear.

I was emotional, sure, but how could I cry? I had an extra year at home with her, and to see her walk away with her class as they headed into the school building was incredible. This was a child who wasn’t supposed to be able to walk, let alone attend kindergarten.

Yet, here she is.

One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

ONE SUMMER.

We squeezed all we could out of summer. No matter where we were, we were ALL THERE.

One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

Life is so short. I can’t fathom 18 summers right now. I don’t know what will happen, how many summers we’ll really have together.

If our experience taught us anything, it’s to embrace gratitude and live for the moment.

Today as I vacuumed the beach sand and goldfish crackers and stickers out of my car with my little buddy by my side, all I could do was smile.

Well, smile and dream about next year. Our next ONE SUMMER.

One Summer: great advice for embracing the moment #summer

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15 Comments

  1. BEAUTIFUL!!!! What a meaningful post…so uplifting. And great to see all the photo recaps of your wonderful summer!! Xoxo

  2. How very insightful. If more parents took this approach to summer, kids would be more rounded. Way too many view summer as a major inconvenience.
    I’m willing to bet there are some VERY happy kids in school today simply because mom said yes!
    Blessings to all, Hope

  3. Such a wonderful post! I’m so happy you had such a wonderful summer, what a memory to hold onto, all of the yeses!! And how cute is your family, love them!!

  4. Beautifully written and such a poignant reminder to make a concerted effort to enjoy family, friends and day-to-day life.

  5. Aaaaw! We are so proud of all that your little girl has already accomplished in her life. When she was in the NICU, I prayed that she would have a happy life — whether or not she could walk or talk — I just hoped that she could and would be happy. Well, mission accomplished! Kindergarten is icing on the cake! You go, girl! 🙂

  6. love. love. love. I know all about those girls who are not supposed to walk. . . .they always seem to run, don’t they?
    xoxxo

  7. This is a great post. As a mom of an 18 year old boy and a 20 year old girl, this is still meaningful to me. When they were young I was stressed and thought everything needed to be perfect. When really all we need is to love them and be present in those moments. This is how we make the memories we reach for in winter. Perfect!

  8. Great Post – Love the glimpse in to your summer… I never though about that I only have 4 more summer with my son before college- and 8 with my daughter.. this summer well kinda sucked with starting a new job.. I vow to work hard so next will be better. Thanks for the wake up call.

  9. As I sit here on Kindergarten-Eve and miniseries about our summer, I can’t help but get teary eyed from your post.

    I need to say YES more. WAY more.

    <3
    *cheers* until next summer!

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