Once again the edge of summer has arrived and with it comes a carelessness that whispers in the wind, a joyful spirit which hangs like morning dew. The weight of homework, tests, deadlines and projects passed in the blink of an eye, and in its place come sleepy mornings, laughter with loves and freedom to roam and play and look into the shining sun. My own sweet memories of summers gone by bring a skip to my heart as I remember splashes in the chlorine water, counting train cars sitting in the back seat on East coast trips, skateboard runs down the circle pavement, watermelon drips on my t-shirt, wet suits and Barbie doll towels hanging on faded wood, sweet juicy strawberries picked from the growng garden and star filled night giggles with my girls. Oh to be a young summer soul again and not have a care in the world, to only wake with thoughts of friends and sunshine.
As summer returns, the calendar fills with activity and tasks, trips and adventures. The days will pass with familiar quickness in my attempts to slow the clock, to reign in passing days, to soak in every giggle and memory and moment as this momma’s heart breathes the heavy sigh of recognition of children growing to young adults. Sadness overwhelms with the memories of days gone by while pride abounds for the results of tender parent love and answered prayers only possible because of a gracious, faithful Father.
So here’s to you, my big littles. Here’s to sharing food and living life around the table, to lake trips and driving through the mountains, to college visits and camp sendoffs, to fires and s’mores, to couch time and late night chats. Here’s to hopes for a summer to remember.
Brad: He’s a senior now. My brain cannot wrap itself around the recognition. How we went from a little boy barely able to strap his backpack around both arms and needing reminders to tie shoes to a six foot tall charming, sweet young man is beyond me. The years have passed with a quickness I cannot halt. So much to soak in with so little time remaining before he is off to new adventures, college and learning a new sense of independence. For today I will relish the beauty of seventeen. I will land on my knees and thank God for a firstborn who fills our home with laughter and sensitivity and big smiles and crass jokes. His summer days are nearly full of work and golf and camps and friends. Just how warm, humid days should be for a teenager. His carefree, engaged heart brings such joy to our home.
Sidney: Now a sophomore, the rays of sun will brown her skin as she fills her days with cherished friends, volleyball, and working out. Her beauty grows as she continues to mature into a young lady who love Jesus and puts everyone else above herself. Sacrificial love is the language she speaks and the clock will tick to the cares and feedings and laughter and cuddles she will infuse into her beloved youngest brother in the days to come.
Trevor: Like a weed in the hot summer garden, he has shot up to new heights this year. From big sister reminders that she was still taller to standing eye to eye with big brother and dad, he has changed before this momma’s eyes…at least seven inches of growth! An introspective young man, he opens up in quiet moments and to grasp the cherished heart is insight into a loving, sarcastic, bright soul. His freshman year is upon him, but first, new experiences await for camp, golfing, student council commitments and many moments with friends.
Ryan: Always changing yet never progressing, he has been stoic in this month gone by. Infection and seizures have overtaken his body as his days have been spent sleeping and being loved by daddy. In the last three weeks, only 1 ½ hours have been spent with school friends and staff. Missing the long summer goodbye and the rush out the door to humid days ahead, he spent his day resting in the quiet of home. The feeding tube bringing nourishment to his weakened body has been acting up causing frustration and tears for Travis and me as we await a surgery date to replace the broken tube. Summer for this guy means sleep and shade as his little body does not acclimate to sun and heat. One thing for sure, he will be loved beyond measure.
Parents: Life is spent working to feed kids and friends, planning and organizing and constant calendar updates to the warm days of June and July as children move in every direction. Travis will work as much as possible with Sidney able to take over Ryan’s care, and she certainly cherishes the financial gain of time with the baby brother. Our sights are set on weekends at the new Okoboji lake house and a Utah week where summer days will find us backyard swimming with cousins, hiking and sightseeing, flying down alpine slides, ziplining through mountain air and venturing into white water rafting. Summer will find us working and playing with kids and focusing on what we do best – managing kids schedules and future plans. Our hearts and days are wrapped around growing teens who will all too soon be off doing their own planning and organizing and traveling. But this mother’s heart would have it no other way than to spend my days focused on the ones who bring gladness to my soul.