A Day in the Life of an End-of-Summer Parent

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A Day in the Life of an End-of-Summer Parent

It’s the end of July, and all I can say is yikes. If you’re anything like me, you started the summer with a rosy-eyed optimism that included summer reading goals, family movie nights, pool parties, and daily chore charts for the kids to keep the house in ship shape! We went to the beach for a week and my daughters went to family camp with my parents. My girls worked odd jobs and babysitting gigs to earn some pocket money, which seemed to make them increasingly unwilling to work for me for free. The point on the calendar when it all starts to dissolve seems to change from year to year, but for me, it’s usually about 5 weeks in…the midpoint of summer. Best laid plans are best laid to rest in the back yard next to my weedy, mostly dead vegetable garden that we planted so expectantly at the end of May. Summer reading goals? I just turn on the subtitles when my kids watch Netflix. Boom! Reading. My teenage daughters are the size of adult women, but they seem to have lost any adult-like ability to do anything other than empty the entire contents of their closets onto their bedroom floors daily. We were so organized…for the first two weeks. Now, the house looks like a family of giant roof rats have moved in. The fridge and cupboards are perpetually empty, even though I grocery shop three times a week. It makes zero sense why my kids need to eat four times as much food to do 1% of the work they do during the school year. My kids wake up at the crack of 11:15 am and complain that they’re tired. When I ask them why they’re so tired they reply, “from sleeping.” This end-of-summer parent is ready to hear silence, a sound I have not heard in nine weeks. I think having children home with this much free time is why Solomon wrote, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, AND A TIME TO DIE.” It is time for summer to die. Come Lord Jesus. Please bring about the glorious day when I drop these adult-sized toddlers off at the golden gates of their high school and cry, “Freedom!” And yet, I cherish these crazy-long, lazy days because I know that in a few short years I’ll hear a lot of silence around my home. More than my mommy heart will welcome on some days. My house will be clean but empty. As exhausting as parenting is, as a mom whose kids are on the final countdown to adulthood, I already miss it. That’s why God’s grace is so vital in these heavy lifting years of parenting. Grace, when we give it to ourselves first, helps us get through the hard times, and rather than dread them, actually find joy in them. And while I’ve heard from several of my friends that there is wonderful, abundant life after the kids leave home, I know these chaotic summer days will be some of my best memories someday.  

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