How Many Summers Do You Have Left?

I love Visit Idaho’s campaign, 18 Summers. But I don’t cry watching the commercials. Nope. Never.

They’re all about how you only have 18 summers with your kids. Only 18 summers before they grow up and things change forever.

But I never think about that!

I never think about my kids growing up. I’m savoring every single second with them. Even as I write this I am completely fine with my daughter jumping from the coffee table to the couch. Because = memories.

I never think about my kids leaving home. I’m pretty sure they’ll want to live here forever, because I’m teaching them so many things, they’ll just want to stay here and keep learning.

I never think about how empty the house if they do decide to grow up and move out. I’m sure they’ll visit all the time because they won’t be busy or anything. And I’ll be an awesome kooky grandma.

Actually I’m a bit fat liar. Things are changing way too fast.

I turned around the other day and realized my 11 year old is already wearing size 14 pants and his eating knows no bounds. I turned around the other day and my almost 9 year old was making breakfast — the most perfect eggs. I turned around the other day and my 6 year old was putting on my make up (granted, she didn’t have permission…). I turned around the other day and my 3 year old was singing every song playing on the radio.

GUYS they are growing so fast!

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It’s both exciting and terrifying.

So let me ask you this: How many summers do you have left? Obviously your kid isn’t going to disappear completely when they turn 18. But at some point, they’re going to live somewhere else and things will be very different.

You’ll still be their mommy or daddy, but they won’t need you so much. And that will be just weird.

Sometimes I feel like I have all this time because my kids are still so “little.” But to put it in perspective:

I only have 6 summers left with my 11 year old.

I only have 9 summers left with my almost 9 year old.

I only have 11 summers left with my 6 year old.

I only have 15 summers left with my 3 year old.

How many summers do you have left?

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I’m not saying that summer has to be this amazing and magical thing where you go on 100 trips and spend all your money and do fancy stuff. Because I’m definitely not doing that.

What I mean is, summer is an opportunity to spend as much time possible with them. So you can look back later with no regrets. So when they’re older you can reminisce about “that one summer when we…”

Actually this summer we’ve stayed pretty close to home in Eastern Idaho. We’ve mostly just done Idaho things. I guess that Visit Idaho campaign is working (if you click on it you’ll see it’s divided into regions of Idaho, making it super easy). We’ve been sorta playing tourist in our own area, because we’ve only been here a few years and there is so much to see!

We’ve been to local museums, water falls, national parks, state parks, random cities, the swimming pool, the library (reading program), the air show, the dog park, friends’ houses, etc. That’s all been fun and memorable and we’ve loved every second of it. (Even that time at a state park that we got eaten alive by bugs. But nature was still good for the soul.)

But most of the time we’re just at home, playing. A lot of times when my husband gets home from work, we plop onto the porch swing in the backyard and watch the kids run around with the dog. They run up to us and tell us 10 billion things before they run around again and make up games with each other. We’re all together and it just feels amazing.

So sure, there a limited number of summers left with our kids being kids. But we’ll always have the memories.

What have you done this summer? And if school hasn’t started for you yet, what are you doing with your kids in the final days and weeks?

Make the most of it!

*Check out the Visit Idaho YouTube Channel here.*

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