There are lazy summers, fun-filled summers, and then there are indelible summers. The summer of '13 happens to be one of the most memorable to me, the kind that is imprinted-in-my-mind, no wait, make that my heart. Yes, it's been the kind of summer that has left a mark the way a footprint makes its mark in the beach sand. Although the print may get washed away, feeling the sand between your toes, the ground mold to your foot, and the cool water cross your path lingers forever.
What hit me hard this summer is that my children are way past the youthful toddler stage where they excitedly shared every nuance of their summer fun. It used to be they would love to jump in our bed at the hotel when they woke up and fill it not only with their toys but also with their giggles and eagerness of "What are we doing today?" When did that all stop? Einstein, I need a little help here.
Nowadays my girls, two of whom are technically adults, prefer to sleep in, catch a leisurely breakfast, and then weigh in heavily with what's next on our agenda for the day. My husband and I look at each other with a mix of pride and longing. We are so proud of the fruits of our labor, yet we miss those days when our girls were dependent on us to plan our day. Now they are so independent, which of course is what we want them to be, but it all seemed to go by like the cliché of a clock flying out the window. Where is that time warp when I need it Einstein?
This summer my eldest daughter met her boyfriend. As a parent, you often wonder when, exactly, they will start dating. And more importantly, who? For us it seemed to come out of nowhere. Suddenly, there was this guy my daughter was texting more and more, leaving the house in a hurry while barely saying 'see you later.' POW, it hit us like a gravitational force. She has a boyfriend. And I might add a nice one at that. She's proven to us that she makes good choices. It's time to toss some astronomical objects in the sky and celebrate.
This summer my middle daughter graduated from high school. When the first child goes away to college it is a milestone. But when the middle child graduates, it's like a time bomb targeting my heart and aching for the seconds to slow down just a teensy bit. My chicks are leaving the nest one-by-one. It's time to make some gravitational waves.
My youngest is left at home with my husband and me. She fears we will be staring at her during dinner time, squeezing every last ounce of "what did you do today" that she'll want to start eating in her room. We don't want to cling too tightly that she'll fly away faster than the other two. But clock after clock keeps flying out the window. It's now that I want time to stand still.
So let's hope Einstein can help me out here. I'm hoping If I exert enough gravity upon my situation and shed some light on it I can cause a distortion in space-time and make this moment last forever.
Tina Case is a Yahoo! Shine Parenting Guru. When she's not writing here she can be found on her own blogs Moms Who Click and Parent Grapevine. She is also an established photographer in the San Francisco-Bay area. Find her at Tina Case Photography and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.