I remember it so clearly- the moment I realized the quote was so true: The days pass slowly, but the years fly by.
It was a quiet night in August. The kids were tucked into bed and I was lying there, in the quiet, on the eve of their first day of a new school year. Hadn’t it just been yesterday that we sent in end-of-the-year teacher gifts or that I planned all of the special things we would be doing during those summer months?
We had said that every day of our summer break would be a fun adventure where we would find something new to try or somewhere new to go. It was on that night in August when their summer break was coming to an end and the new year was on the horizon that the quote really hit me. Yes, the days pass slowly when you are in them, but when you look back, you realize how quickly the years have flown by.
Honestly, I still couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t get myself to reconcile that summer was over and a new school year was upon us. I mean, wasn’t it just yesterday my kids were lamenting the last few weeks of school? Wasn’t it just yesterday that school let out, and I greeted my kids in the car line with a promise of an exciting, over-the-top summer filled with parks, picnics, playdates, and one incredibly fun vacation to Hilton Head?
How could THREE WHOLE months have passed by so quickly?
Three months. 75 days of summer break, and it’s gone in the blink of an eye. I was lying there, thinking about this. At this point, I’m crying… somewhat inconsolably to my husband (who, as usual, can’t quite figure out why I’m crying). I’m crying because all those grand plans I had didn’t quite come full circle.
I mean, yes, we did hit some parks this summer. But oh my gosh, the heat was unbearable! Here in NC, July means the upper 90s, so it’s not ideal to be outdoors for long periods.
And we did have a few playdates, but not nearly as many as I had hoped for. Summer camps, vacations, VBS, work schedules, etc., all had a way of throwing a wrench into the best-laid plans.
We did hit the pool this summer, but not every day like my older daughter dreamed of.
And that fun, awesome vacation to Hilton Head Island – well, we did do that too, but as usual, one of my kids was sick (like coughing until 2 am every night we were there) and I spent the first day of vacay at urgent care tending to a UTI.
So I’m baffled – how did those 75 days slip by so quickly? In the beginning, I was even a little nervous that maybe my kids would get bored and that I would be scrambling to find something to do. And now, here I am, wondering, “What on earth did we do with our time?”
And now I’m sad…I’m thinking about all the high hopes I had and the reality that our days are numbered before they head back to school, and our hours together will once again be limited. I’m wondering if they had fun this summer. Did I show them each day that I love them more than anything? Did I let them see the fun, carefree mommy, or did the “everyday” get in the way?
Perhaps what I’m really gleaning from this summer break is that the age-old quote is incredibly true:
The days pass slowly, but the years fly by.
I have heard it told to me many times since becoming a parent. Not that I needed to hear it – it was so evident. One day I was praying to figure out how to feed my baby, and the next, I was washing the “too small” outfit so it would be clean and ready for our next baby.
One day, I’m watching my firstborn toddle towards me with a big toothy grin, and the next, I’m watching that same child go off to Kindergarten. So I know this saying speaks volumes.
I guess what I didn’t need was one more reminder of it as the summer wraps up and I send my babies off to school again… a year older.
What I didn’t need was this quote reminding me that each year we will do this. Each year I will send my babies off to school until the year that I don’t… The year they move out to start their lives as adults and begin their own families.
Or maybe I did…maybe I did need this.
Maybe I did need this reminder that the days pass slowly, but the years fly by. Because don’t we all need this reminder in the throws of parenthood?
Regardless of your kids’ ages... whether it’s teething, potty training, or teenage curfews… don’t we all need to remember that this, too, shall pass? What seems unbearable today is just a stage, and that one day we will look back on this memory and gasp… laugh?!
You know what, come to think of it, maybe that reminder is JUST what I needed.
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