18 summers

I saw a meme this morning that says “We get 18 delicious summers with our children. This is one of your 18. If that’s not perspective I don’t know what is.” Boy they weren’t kidding because that definitely puts a whole lot of things in perspective. 18 years really isn’t that long, not when you look it in time spent with your children. Sure they will still be around after they become adults, we’ll maybe, unless they go off to college, decide to travel the world, or maybe decide the need a change in scenery. Even if they do stay close it won’t be like it was when they were in your home. Becoming a parent changes you, it’s kind of like you branch off of your original self into this kind of the same but kind of new person. You experience a love like no other, you develop an attachment to this tiny human you’ve created and that attachment will grow stronger and you grow together. Your child will grow into their own person and you will grow into the person you’re now meant to be and then one day they will be off on their own and you will branch off from your new self and change into the post child version of yourself.

Summers are meant to be fun but man can they be exhausting. If you have school age children, your food bill will surely increase as will the need to find things to occupy them. Three months is a long time to have to entertain someone! Not that you need to do things everyday but surely you will want them to have fun. Summers are a great time for making memories, whether it’s camping, arts and crafts, family vacations, or the movies, we recently went to the drive in and it was a blast. I absolutely recommend seeing Toy Story 4 and the new Aladdin (my new favorite live action remake). Whatever you decide to do, the fact that you are spending time with your kids and making memories is what’s important. I know as parents we all joke well okay half joke about being ready for kids to go back to school by the time August hits. A structured routine and not being eaten out of house and home definitely have their benefits but when you put it into perspective 18 summers isn’t really that many. When our kids are grown we’re going to cherish all the memories we made and probably wish we had time to make more.

Parenting is such an emotional whirlwind, it hard and it’s exhausting, but it’s also beautiful and rewarding. It’s okay to be tired or to not want to spend every waking moment with your kids, it’s even okay to be ready for them to go back to school, just don’t forget to slow down. Put the phone down, take them all in, be present, and make memories. Make the most of the time that you have with them, 18 years sounds like a long time but when your kids are grown and off living their own lives there’s going to be times where you will miss them being little, miss their smell, and being able to still pick them up. You’ll miss taking them to the park, or the crazy trips to the drive in, you might even wish you had just one more summer.

Make memories

When you have kids, you gain a whole new set of responsibilities. Suddenly you have someone whose life depends on you. You need to keep them fed, clean, warm, and loved. As they grow you need to teach them about them world around them and how to navigate through it. Sooner than you think they will be in school, then there’s homework, tests, and grades. While all of this stuff is important, I think we often forget one of the most important jobs we have as a parent and that is to make memories. To be there, to live in the moment, to leave a lasting impression in the minds of our kids that will be there long after we are gone.

The other night my husband and I were talking about where we want to go for our next trip. Will it be the usual Disneyland trip like we’ve done so many times before or should we go somewhere else this time. While we were trying to decide he said something that really stands out to me, he said “as much as I love Disney it’s not about that, it’s about the memories.” Now admittedly, Disneyland will always be my top choice when it comes to vacations because it really is my favorite place but regardless of where we go, we’ll be making memories with our kids and that’s what’s important.

Twice this school year I have pulled my son out of school to take a trip. The school was not pleased and I’m sure I got the side eye from people we know but it was worth it. Twenty years from now when you ask him to tell you a memory back from when he was 12 it’s not going to be something that happened at school, it’s going to be about getting to go on the Incredicoaster two times in a row with his step dad because the park was closing or dabbing for the picture on Mission Breakout with his mom, or maybe he tell you about his first time seeing World of Color and how beautiful it was.

If you were to ask my middle son about his memories from when he was five, he would probably tell you all about escaping Harold on the Matterhorn or that if you let go at the right time on Guardians you will actually float for just a second. My daughter may be too young for the memories we’ve made so far but when she looks back on the pictures we took, she will feel the happiness radiating from them, I mean look at that face.

Now don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to fly all the way to Disneyland to make memories. Just doing things with your kids, whether it’s arts and crafts, story time, camping, or a trip to the beach, the point is to be present. Live in the moment with them. Life isn’t all about school or work, chores or grades. We aren’t born to just wake up everyday go to work come home and then start all over again and we don’t have children to just send them off to school do homework and then repeat. Take that trip, skip a day of work, show them world, whatever you do just make memories. When they are grown and when you are gone that is when those memories will mean the most.

Hello there

This morning I realized it has been a bit since I’ve posted anything here ( waves finger in shame at self) hopefully you all don’t feel too neglected. There really isn’t any one reason why I haven’t been blogging, life just gets in the way sometimes I guess. Between kids, work, and every part of life in between it all kind of just flies by in this fascinating blur. Add exhaustion into the mix and you’ll find yourself in the middle of March thinking it’s still January. Now when I say exhaustion I am not exaggerating for effect. I’m talking not really sure how you’re going to make it through the day standing exhausted. Do you ever find yourself so tired you’re making deals with yourself to get things done? Saying things like “Come Ashley, just do one load of dishes and then we can sit down and watch an episode of Chicago PD or three before we start another task”. I saw a meme about a permanently exhausted pigeon once, pretty sure I’m that pigeon. 

So what’s new with me you ask? Well I am now the mother to a 12 year old kid, seriously how the hell did that happen? It really doesn’t seem like it’s been THAT long since he was a baby. I feel a lot older when I think about having a 12 year old. I’ll be 33 this year which just doesn’t sound right. We’re now 35 days away from our next trip to Disneyland. I cannot tell you how needed it is. This time we’ll be spending five days in the parks this time which I’m super stoked for. We’re intentionally going before Galaxy’s Edge opens, as much as I love Star Wars, there is no way I would be able to handle that many people. We hope to go back in October though so I can’t wait to be able to tell you guys all about it then.

Spring is finally here, which means getting to take the kids out of the house to do thing like go to the park. This is good for them because they get to play, this is good for me because it means less time destroying the house and somewhere they can get out some of that crazy kid energy. We live within walking distance of our elementary school so evening walks have become a thing again. With nice weather on it’s way be on the look out for posts about beach adventures and hopefully some camping. We’ve also got a teeny tiny amusement park here so who knows maybe we will do a post to show that off. It’s going to be a great spring/summer so stay tuned!

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