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Three More Summers

It is the first day of summer vacation, and as always, I am so excited. Summer means so many good things, like sleeping a little later, more time to do what I like without strict time constraints, family outings, holiday getaways, and so much more. However, I also realized there was a bit of sadness that comes along with the highly anticipated break. I can already hear you asking, “Why would you possibly be sad?” And if I had to give you a short response, the phrase “three more summers” would be it.

My youngest daughter Kaci just finished her first year of high school. Even as I write this, I feel myself having an emotional response to these thoughts. While I am so happy and proud of her and the young lady she is quickly becoming, like her sisters, there is also a bit of sadness when I realize what this also means for me. I remember longing for the days when everyone would finally be in school. Then, it was when I would not have to shuttle children around to three different schools, and there was a great anticipation for when I only had to deal with one school (with a start time of 9:00 a.m. by the way) and fewer activities that kept me so fatigued most days.

Now, I am here with everything I used to hope for being a reality, and some days, I find myself trying hard to remember those days I used to wait to be over. The reality that my nest is quickly emptying, and the daughters that used to require so much of my attention and time is now changing. It is a stage of life that is not new, but the personal feeling is new to me. What shall I do when this is all over in a few short years? Part of me does not want to think about it, but another part of me knows I must. The shifting of stages in life was something I did not consider much in my 20s or even my 30s. I must say, the death of my mother when I was 28 did bring my own mortality into question for the first time, but I never considered how life would be as children were becoming adults and how that would affect me. Now, I cannot help but consider it.

While I still anticipate so much in the next few years, my focus will be on the present and being in the moment as much as possible. I will gladly take her wherever she must go and pick her up from school until she is driving. Some days, I still sit and wait until she disappears into the school, hoping she will turn around and give one final wave of acknowledgement like she did when she was little, but those days are no longer. So, while I meet her at the stage of life she is in, and honor the current stage of my life, I am going to enjoy three more summers with her.


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