Summer is moving right along – too fast. I am desperately trying to hold onto these last few weeks of summer, which has been...

Summer is moving right along – too fast. I am desperately trying to hold onto these last few weeks of summer, which has been one of the best summers we have had so far. My darling girl will be starting kindergarten in just a few short weeks. I just cannot get rid of the anxiety that is swirling around me like an invisible tornado. My sweet, little, angel-faced baby is going to big school, and a chapter in her life and mine will be closed forever.

As parents, we get caught up in the day-to-day. We get up, fix the children breakfast, make beds, brew coffee, get everyone dressed and out the door, etc. I have been very aware of these fleeting moments for the past year or two, and I try to soak in every moment with my two that I can, but it is still hard not to get caught up. We all lead busy lives, from work, school, volunteering, and children’s activities, church – I could go on and on. To me, I have to be busy to feel productive, and something that I have intensely worked on this summer is the art of slowing down.

The most wonderful man on earth had to have a minor surgery at the beginning of July; he was home until this week – four weeks of having Daddy home. I have a very flexible work schedule and work very few hours in the summer in order to stay home with the children. Having the entire family home has been, in a word, perfect. I thought for sure that our routine would be disrupted; that my husband and I would get irritated with each other, etc., but that never happened! I have so enjoyed having him home, and the children have, too. While Daddy could not wrestle and play as usual due to his procedure, he was still at home with us.

With him being home, I decided to slow down and enjoy this summer. As stated, my summer hours are very minimal at work, I have cut way back on volunteering and only have one special project that I am tending. The children are not going to any camps and sports are not in season, so it has been blissful! We talk to each other, play together, and act silly, I do not fret over whether I ran the vacuum or not (well, yes I do, but I resist). I have enjoyed every second with my two munchkins. The children have been so pleasant this summer, not even complaining about the new much longer list of chores. They both wake up and immediately make their beds, no questions asked. They dust their rooms, take out the trash, wipe down the bathroom and keep their rooms tidy and their clothes put away. We went on one vacation to the beach for a week, but, other than that, we are enjoying our little swimming pool in the backyard, having friends over to play, summer birthday parties, staying with grandparents and visiting different parks and playgrounds – have I said it has been wonderful?

We have not rushed out the door to be anywhere, we snuggle and read books under my grandmother’s old quit, we shut the curtains and watch movies, and we go outside and play hide and seek (hilarious, this poor Mama and running do not mix), catch lightning bugs and eat popsicles. I have enjoyed this summer more than any other one I can remember, and I never want it to end.

My darling girl will be starting kindergarten, and my sweet, boy will be in the fourth grade! How did this happen? I am going to keep this “slowing down” thing going. I want to enjoy my children.

They grow so fast! Was my boy not just in kindergarten? I have slowly moved into a different phase of parenthood. I no longer have toddlers, or little ones, I have big kids now. Oh, I know that my precious flower is still little, but the minute they step foot into big school, they start growing up and away from you (and that’s okay). I no longer need to keep anything in my purse besides an occasional snack and multiple first aid items. No more blankies that get taken everywhere, no more pacifiers, no more sippy cups. It is very liberating and, at times, sad. I do miss being so needed, but in reality, the older they get, the more they need me in a different way.

I love my two children more than I can describe. Thankfully they both will still crawl in my lap, even though my boy is almost as tall as I am. They still stretch little arms up for night time “snuggies” and wake up and come directly to me for a hug. I love these two little people with all that I have, and I intend to show them that by paying attention to them, not being distracted, and enjoying every minute. The art of slowing down – what a miraculous gift.