I’ve been told I only get 18 summers until you fly out of our little nest. At the end of every summer, I have a list of things I meant to do: play more board games, catch fireflies, walk across the bridge with the dogs, go to the drive-in movies. Next summer — there’s never enough time though.
There’s always a little sadness at the end of the summer that I didn’t do all the things I pictured us doing.
My mom used to talk about how sad she felt when summer was over. She never looked forward to us going back to school, and I totally understand. Some small part of me looks forward to getting back into a routine, but most of me wants to hold onto those summer days and nights while they slip away like sand through my fingers.
My regrets this summer include working more than I wanted to.
I know I wasn’t the very best mom I could be on the afternoons in which I came home with not enough left to give, impatient and tired. Now I want to kick myself because I don’t get those summer nights back. I would have stayed up a bit later, snuggled a little longer, told silly stories. Next summer I’ll do better, ok?
We did make so many little memories I will file away, however. Lucy learned to swim to the cheers of her big brother and sister. We stayed up late on our beach trip to walk the beach and catch crabs, and sit by a sea turtle nest and pray they hatched while we watched the stars.
We sat in the pool at night until our fingers wrinkled and our eyes were chlorine bloodshot. We found shark teeth. We saw fireworks, we “flossed” (a lot), we played fortnight, and we watched the Kiki challenge. We sat in the heat through our first city swim meet. We saw dolphins jump five feet away from the boat in Destin.
We had a first slumber party for Cooper where he hid the lovey he normally sleeps with in his closet because he was embarrassed for his friend to know he still slept with it, and my heart silently broke into a million pieces. We found our brave girls when my three-year-old and five-year-old swam with sharks in the Dominican Republic. We fixed up my dad’s old hunting camper and spent some nights in the “wild” and dreamed about all of our future adventures. We learned to use a cast net to catch baitfish. We caught red snapper and ate it that night for dinner and realized nothing tastes better than the fish you catch yourself.
Cooper learned to water ski on the lake. Caroline and Lucy decided they loved to tube. We made friendship bracelets — I probably spent more time and excitement on that than you did. We had sleepovers with the grandparents and spent time with our cousins. We watched a lot of beautiful sunsets, and even caught a few sunrises. We didn’t do everything, but we did a lot.
As the summer slips away, I want to file these little memories away. I hope you know that even though every day wasn’t perfect and I worked more than I wanted to, that we poured ourselves into this summer. For all the picking and fighting and YouTube watching, there was a whole lot of awesome.