The Last Summer

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The last summer

Every Sunday, my husband David and I have a scheduling meeting to go over the week. We often sit down with steaming mugs of coffee to add some comfort to a high-stress meeting. Ha! I grab my hanging wall calendar, he grabs his iphone calendar and we schedule. When I leave, I know what events to RSVP for, what things to cancel if we are overbooked, our date night, what meals we will eat at home, etc.

After our meeting last Sunday, I was paging through the next few months to see about a trip. And suddenly, I saw a date scribbled on the last week of August in green sharpie marker: “Samson’s 1st day of school!”

And my heart missed a beat.

Samson’s first day of kindergarten may not seem like a big deal. But to me, it’s the end of an era. It’s the end of unscheduled little people days. Those beautiful, long days full of mothering and home and no itinerary. We will now always have school. And a schedule. And homework. And deadlines. And we will have all of this until he leaves the house as a grown man.

It’s the end of just me and my babies, day after day. Playdate? Any day of the week. Library story hour? Sure! Park for an hour. Anytime!

And suddenly, the past six years of slow, simple living has flown by. Poof! It’s gone. How I wish I could go back to my frazzled, overwhelmed new-mother self and say a few words. So I will say these words to you, new mama, “ENJOY THIS TIME! YOU WILL NEVER GET IT BACK! ENJOY THIS GIFT FROM ABOVE OF LONG, UNSCHEDULED DAYS FULL OF BABIES, TODDLERS, AND HAPPINESS!”

I look back on the blur of six-years of little people living. In the midst of the diaper blizzard, I remember at times resenting the slow, simple days. I remember resenting the loss of “my old life” and struggling to stay afloat in the storm of constant messes, spills, interruptions, etc.

But now I see those days are a gift. A gift, I say! Do you hear that tired, overwhelmed new mom? A beautiful season that FORCES you to stay in the present, and see the little things in life. “Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things.”

Yes, I know mothering the little years is constant. It is all day and all night long. But never again will you have long, unscheduled days to just be with your little angels. So enjoy them.

I am excited for kindergarten, I really am. But when I swooped up my baby Hannah today, I held her an extra-long time on the couch. She turns one next month. I fingered her pea-sized toes, squished those thighs the size of Texas and stroked her fine baby curls at the nape of her neck. I smelled that baby smell on her neck and we made silly sounds, back and forth. I don’t want to fast-forward this baby chapter of my life, or complain my days away until my kids are older. I want to enjoy this season, and be grateful.

So I stopped right there on my boring brown couch. And I THANKED God for these little years. I THANKED God for my little people. It’s such a privilege to be a mother. (So many women can’t be a mom). It’s such a privilege to be a stay-at-home mother. (Can you believe our “job” each day is to be with these little ones and see life through the eyes of pure, young children?)

There’s only a month and a half of summer left. I am going to cherish these long summer days even more. It’s the last summer of mothering my little people full-time. And I want to savor each day.

“Behold, children are a gift from above.”


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Samson had his first golf lesson last Saturday. Right before we left the house for the lesson, David asked, “Are you sure you don’t want me to take him? I know you’ve had a long week and you could stay home with the girls and rest.” It sounded delicious, but then I remembered and responded with iron resolve, “No, I’d really like to take him, if you don’t mind. I need to do something fun with him and have some mom/son time.” And so we did. We had little man conversations on the way over in the ‘ol minivan. I chatted up golf (I grew up on the golf course) and we had fun during the lesson and talking about it for the next week. If we don’t have FUN with our kids, we don’t have FUN memories to carry us through the stresses of parenting. Samson and I are TOTALLY different in our make-up, and we clash a lot. That’s why that little golf lesson was so important. Have fun with your little one this summer! Make some fun memories to offset parenting stresses!

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Want more like this? Order Leah’s new Amazon Best-Seller book Stop and Smell Your Children: Laugh and Enjoy the Little Years now on Amazon here or on her site here.

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