The heat index over the weekend here in the Midwest was up around 100 degrees, but the calendar is saying that summer is almost over. As a parent, I find that the summers are strong markers of my children’s progress and development. My son and my daughter are home from school and I get to spend more time with them. The pace of our summer days are little slower and not quite as routine. It gives me a good opportunity to take stock of my relationship with them. For instance, I’ll always remember this as the summer that my son learned to ride his bike without training wheels. This is a large hallmark in any boy’s life, for sure, but what will stick out to me is our bike rides together. I will think of me out front and him just a little behind me and to the side, cruising the neighborhoods and going to find the Blue Herron in the lake across the street.
I’ll also remember how he really learned to swim this year. Last year, I would have been more comfortable calling it, “staying alive while in the water”. But this year, he is actually, really swimming. He can dive down to the bottom of the deep end. He can swim the length of the neighborhood pool. He is comfortable in the water. He loves to swim.
My daughter really grew up this year as well. The one thing that will stand out to me about these past couple months is Strawberry Ice Cream. As a girl that loves absolutely anything pink, this girl has discovered pink ice cream. She could eat strawberry ice cream everyday if you would let her. I will also remember our dance parties we had this summer. I would turn up a song really loud in our family room and she and I would dance until we (ok, just me) were out of breath.
So, as the summer is coming to an end, I find it valuable to use this time as a marker for me to remember that my children are growing up. It was a summer filled with bike rides, dancing and strawberry ice cream. It was a summer filled with fun and firsts and the reminder that they won’t stay young forever, just like I didn’t. But as they continue to grow, we will continue to find new adventures to have together.