I had an ah-ha moment (you know one of those moments where you get smacked in the face?) the beginning of June which sent me on a whole new direction for my summer. I went to a co-workers high school graduation and you know what I realized? Amanda only has four years left at home. Four years. Do you know how fast four years goes? In a blink of an eye, my baby will be going her own way. I was shocked that I hadn't realized it. The six months prior to June had been filled with total chaos with the fire and everything that entailed, moving back home and helping with my sister in any way possible. It was a whirlwind and I realized that I had not been enjoying my kids in the manner I was meant too.
Dan and I filled our summer with as much fun as possible. We did so much stuff, especially for us, as we tend to be homebodies. We camped several times, went on two vacations, picnics with family, walks in the park, playing in the park until late at night...the list really goes on. I have been ignoring the computer as much as possible, which at times feels like I am ignoring Reese and I hate that (and vow to do better). I have learned so much about my kids, have fallen madly in love with my husband and adore our family so much more then I did back in June.
Amanda is now a freshman, Mark has entered middle school and McKenna is a big second grader. There are definitely more moments where Amanda is learning who she is and at times that means testing us. It's so hard. She is so fun, loving and kind and then there are the teenage moments where I literally want to scream "who the heck are you???" but we get through them.
Saturday I had another ah-ha moment. I had the privilege of going to a David Cook concert. I love David Cook and couldn't believe I actually got to go to a concert. My friend that went with me also has a daughter who is a year older then Amanda and on the way there we were chatting about how hard it is to let our girls go and let them grow up. They are at an age where there is so much we can't do for them. They have to figure out their feelings, beliefs and values for themselves. Anyway, if you are familiar with David Cook, you may know the song "Come Back To Me". I love that song, but right when it started my friend looked over at me and said "this song is a dedication to our girls". Can I tell you I lost it right there, absolutely bawling lost it. I know as a parent of these teenagers, you have to let go in a sense. You can not lecture, be in their face or demand they believe as you do. Their lives become more of a conversation where you must listen and you must respect where they are coming from, it's much more give and take at this point. I can not throw out my beliefs without being willing to listen to hers. I have to trust that I've laid a good foundation and that she'll, in a sense, "come back to me".
If you are interested, here is a link to go see a video of him singing live.
Here is how I spent my summer, loving on these guys!