At the beginning of you, Summer, I was elated. As a teacher, I tend to appreciate you ever so much. But, at first, you weren’t all you were cracked up to be.
You brought me several mornings of timeouts and 4-year-old debates. Bartering and bribing, bribing and eventually, giving in.
You brought me quiet tears when I didn’t think I could manage another sibling fight.
You brought me all too many experiences of making my children food they barely eat. Bowls of mush scooped into the garbage. Sandwich triangles neglected and discarded.
You brought be a potty training regression that required me to go back to a sticker chart. Wet pants that brought tears.
You gave me my first real crying panic that I lost my child.
You gave me the occasional moments of self-loathing when I didn’t think I was doing the parenting thing right. Again.
You gave me a loud mornings when I could barely even open my eyes until I got an IV of strong, black, industrial-strength coffee.
You gave me grocery store meltdows and naptimes that never happened. Even though you wanted them to, so, so, so badly.
You brought me morning cuddle parties. Whispers by the side of my bed, “Do you want a cuddle bug?”
You gave me painted rocks.
You brought me potty talk silly time which is worth breaking the rules just for the giggles.
You gave me sandy feet and sticky sunscreen hair.
You gave me sweet bedtime stories with a freshly bathed wet heads.
You gave me knock knock jokes.
You gave me lake swimming and dock jumping and chair floating.
You gave me nighttime narrations of Charlotte’s Web on a crowded bed.
You gave me visiting children of friends who allowed for actual adult conversation.
You gave me the magic of the ice cream man, the wonder of the Supermoon and the beauty of a sunset.
You gave me muddy puddles and skipping rocks.
You gave me live music that my children can sing and dance to.
You gave me the occasional babysitter, the occasional quiet evening, the occasional afternoon nap.
You gave me that look from my husband that you can only share with someone who loves your children as much as you do.
You gave me a heavy, sleeping child, sometimes two, on my shoulder as I walk up the stairs.
You gave me reflective questions in the car like, “How many years until I graduate?”
You gave me pajama walks.
You gave me cups of coffee while they played Legos in the screen room.
You gave me music in the car, dancing on the beach and popsicles in the shade.
Summer, you tend to bring out the most beautiful pieces of my life and my family and help me see them in a light that is radiant, a light that is humble, a light that is…just right.
So thank you, summer, for all of it.