We are still deeply in the throes of summer at our house, so it's hard for me to fathom that in less than one short week both Madeleine and Carter will be back in school every day, getting back to our fall routine.
This summer was a sweet one in our house. It was the first year we made a serious commitment to vacation, camp and childcare and wow! what a difference that made. I was no longer the crazed, stressed out work-at-home mother who can't get any work done. They were no longer the whining, frustrated, neglected children who can't figure out how to have fun. This simple structure--a regular morning babysitter, somewhat normal work hours for me and plans to look forward to on the calendar--worked magic for all of us. I had to make a big trip mid-summer for my work, but they had a fun beach week with dad and some fun daily outings with me when I got back. I think everyone got what they needed.
This summer also marks some significant passages. Madeleine is on her way to middle school this fall. She spent far less time with her dolls this summer and much more with her nail polish and music. Carter is no longer my sweet baby faced boy. Yesterday I discovered a pre-adolescent pimple on his face. I suspect I'll be chasing him into the shower nightly soon in hopes of fending off that sweaty big boy odor that is right around the corner. My kids are growing up fast; neither one looks like a little kid in the pictures anymore.
I've never been one to mourn my children growing older. I'm hopeful for the changes in their lives. I'm excited for their futures and eager to see who they will become and what choices they will make as their paths unfold. But this week, I have to say, I'm looking at them both and feeling a bit wistful. I have loved being the mother of little children, and I'll miss the days when they were less independent and more full of wonder for the newness of the world.
How about you? What stages are passing for your kids along with the end of summer? What's there to cherish in these days that is sure to be a distant memory when fall leaves come along?