18 Summers. How Many Do Yours Have Left?

They go fast. The summers.

Last year I counted down the summers and I figured out that we have the same amount if I count the summer after their senior year.  Which I have decided does count.  It kind of doesn’t count because I know that summer won’t be the same but I think I’ll include it anyway.


So we have only 5 summers with our oldest, 8 summers with our middle boy and 9 summers with our youngest.

How many summers do yours have left at home?

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  1. OK, this post put my stomach in my throat. I seriously think I might just throw up! 18 summers??? Summer seems so short… 18 years sounds like a long time, but ONLY 18 summers? And I’ve already wasted 6 of them? Yikes. Thank you for kicking me in the gut. It was needed. Now, I just need to do something about it. And I don’t have to have a master plan for the entire summer. We just need to do something tomorrow. One day at a time. OK. I can do this. :)

    • Love that. Seriously “we just need to do something tomorrow” wise words.

    • My two
      My two “children” are all grown up (33 and 28) and I now have a granddaughter. Even at this point, I cannot believe how fast their childhoods flew by! We had fun summers and made lots of memories…and we did not lead the kind of life where we were off to the islands! We made our own homemade fun and I often hear my “kids” telling other people about this or that, which they used to do when they were little. The happy part for me is that there is much joy in their retelling of their memories.

      I guess there’s no way to slow it down and when you’re going through raising your family, it seems that there’s a huge stretch of time ahead…but not really. Love and enjoy your little ones! (Now I’m doing the same with my granddaughter, but I hate having to give her back)! ;-)

  2. I am down to the last two with my youngest child. As soon as I read this post my heart took a dive and the tears flowed. My son is going to college locally so I feel like we still have time together. My daughter will be off like the wind the minute she graduates high school. Thank you for the reminder.

    • ohhhhhhhh!!! it comes SO fast

    • I also only have so few left. My eldest graduates from high school in like 2 weeks and is going to college far away! My youngest will have 3 summers left if I count summer after senior year. ;) I work professionally for a school district so we LIVE for summer at my house!

  3. Aghh!!! I’m depressed and inspired all at the same time! My youngest is starting kindergarten in the fall and it seems monumental… FULL DAY kindergarten. My baby!! As happy as I am that I will now be able to work during daylight hours, I also realize that time is running faster than me somehow.

  4. Ah, this is a bittersweet post for sure. My current youngest (due with another in August) is turning 3 tomorrow. To which I say “WHOA! Hold on here!” I can’t believe he’s 3.

    I have 13 summers left with my oldest and 15 summers left with my current youngest. But a full 18 summers with what will be our last addition in August.

    That number 18 seems like a lot but I’m truly beginning to understand just how fast they go. I also heard that statement above that the days are long and the years are short. It’s so very very true.

    Thank you for sharing!

  5. My summer count is 5, 6 and 9. Thank you for reminding me of what is important, as always.

  6. Oooh. This post got me. The phrase you shared has been one of my mantras since becoming a stay-at-home mom. Summers are really special. I have 12 and 14 more summers with the kiddos, and although that sounds like loads of time, I was a new bride 12 years ago and that feels like yesterday.


    Enjoy this summer!
    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Our oldest will be a senior this fall. We’re doing our best to make each moment count.
    Though we still have 4 and 6 years years left before our girls graduate, normal family dynamic will change after next summer. In fact, my husband and I were just acknowledging recently that neither one of us lived at home again after we went to college.
    What memories do we want to make? What things do we want to be sure to say? What practical things do we need to teach before he’s gone? We’re trying to be purposeful with the time we’ve got left, but, oh, it goes so fast…
    Thanks for the reminder today. :)

    • Yes…”purposeful with the time you have left”—we realized this too. We keep saying, “he’ll be gone soon” and we have to “make it count” which is not to say that we’ve been ignoring them all this time, but…somehow the clock is ticking really loudly now and all of the life lessons and family moments that we thought we had so much time for are speeding past. For instance, we find a way to pay for a week at the beach each summer even though money is tight, b/c in a few summers, he might not want to come with us anymore, or (hopefully) he’ll be working a great job and won’t be able to take time off right away. Make every moment count…they go fast.

  8. I hate to say this, but it isn’t really all the way through high school, which we are realizing quickly with our newly hatched junior. As they get into high school, “summer enrichment” opportunities present themselves that are just amazing for your kids and so…you send them. This means weeks/months away at a college or “camp” during the summer. These things look wonderful on college applications and they are great for them to do, so you let them go. Last year he got himself working papers and spent 20-30 hours a week at a job. I missed him so much. Next year? Five weeks at a Governor’s School thing, staying in college dorms with no cell phone usage and no visits from parents permitted, so they can “stay focused” on the program. It starts in freshman year, so be prepared! Luckily, I also have a first grader to love on!!!!

  9. AS always you make our brains think in a different way!! Great post.

  10. carol jane says:

    My children are grown and on there own. Time does fly!! I have a NEW grandaughter,. Well, she will be 2 on June 12. Wow. 2 already. seams like she was born yesterday. She is so stinkin cute. Red hair, blue eyes, and I am having a blast with her. Savor each and every day!!!

  11. I miss u and ur writing during the summer, but I understand : ) I have many more summers I only have a 11/2 year old, but I know the time will fly. : ( have a fabulous day!

  12. you are killin me girl……

  13. 10 and 14 left … Not enough. =(

    Thanks for reminding me to “redeem the time.” Love your blog!

  14. Time in this life IS fleeting. Enjoy the time with your boys to the full.

  15. Virginia Mom says:

    Sixteen summers. That was my lucky number with my son. I did not waste them, but they flew by. From the first summer when he walked (well, toddled) into my life in the waiting room of the orphanage in South America, to the last summer when he walked, tall and strong, from the Armed Forces recruiting station to board the bus to his adult life, there were sixteen chances to teach him to swim, ride a bike, build a sand castle, do long division, ask a girl to homecoming, run the washing machine and make spaghetti. Sixteen. And now I have one more to spend with his little sister, who is trying her wings, challenging, resisting, sighing at my cluelessness, retreating, then returning for a hug and a “can you tuck me in?” Yes, my darling. Every single night until September.

  16. 2 short summers. My youngest just finished his junior year…so if we’re counting the summer after senior year…just two.

    *sniffle, sniffle*

    • Although…when you think about it…two summers sounds lots better than 1 year.

      That’s how I’ll choose to look at it for these next precious 12-15 months or so.

  17. Aww, Nester, and everyone else! I’m a mother to three grown{ish} men and gramma to one l’il man. Summers WILL change, it’s true. But they get better, and better. And better! Your boys will move on but they’ll never leave you. Promise. And if you think summers are fun now, just wait until you have grandkids.

    I know, I know. You can’t fathom that idea right now, looking at your kids. But time passes quickly and it happens. And it is simply the most precious gift. Especially at Summer :D

  18. Thankfully, my one and only, comes home from college to work during the summer. We spend lots of time together in the evenings and on the weekends. With only one year of college left for her, I imagine that wedding bells might ring in 2014 or maybe even earlier. That’s when the reality will hit for me. I must enjoy her while I have her!

  19. Jenny M says:

    I was thinking something just like this last night. My oldest graduated from high school yesterday. My younger will be a junior in high school next fall. The time flies by, and I wonder if we have been purposeful enough, and I think of what we meant to do, but haven’t yet. I really appreciate what ColleenwithMurals&More said — I think I will ponder on that for a while.

  20. 7 + 10 + 12 + 14 + 16 + 19 for the one due this summer.

    76 is looking pretty sweet, and our second will probably never be leaving home. And down here we have an extra six months before we even GET to the next summer.

    But seven?!!? Just seven with the oldest. There’s plenty of lovin’ we can fit into seven summers.

  21. I don’t want to be a downer, but I did want to tell everyone to remember that just because school summers inevitably come to and end, there’s every summer after as adults. Even if they aren’t as packed with kid fun, it’s important to enjoy them with your grown kids, who will become your friends. Having just lost someone dear to my heart and knowing there really will be “no more summers” with him, I just wanted to remind everyone to be grateful for any summer God blesses you with. Every summer is precious, no matter the age of your children.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have to agree with Ash. One of my kids died at age 24, three short years ago. Now, with Nick, all I have are memories of the 23 short summers we had together. ENJOY EVERY MINUTE that you have with your kiddos!

  22. This post made my stomach flip over and fill with dread. I have twin girls with 2 more summers – another daughter with 4 more summers and a son with 6. I can’t believe it!!! I am crying already.

  23. My daughter will be a freshman next year :( so we only really have 3 summers, but I’m hoping for a European vacation the summer she graduates. I am a single mom and work full-time and can only take a few days off over the summer so I suffer every summer from “mommy guilt” because I can’t be there with my baby. My parents both worked in the school system, so they had lots of time off over the summer and we always made sure to go on our version of a National Lampoon’s family vacation (you know the ones where the kids were ready to kill each other and were always asking “Are we there yet?”) We are thinking about a road trip to the Grand Canyon for a few days this summer. Praying I find some fun things for Bri to do this summer while I work. Any suggestions for free stuff for teens? She is going to a week-long girls camp, so I can’t really afford anything else. I’m also trying to find places where she can volunteer.

    • Christina – I just want to say I really hope you get to do the European vacation – and the trip to the Grand Canyon. I also am a single mom, so I totally understand where you are coming from. I work from home so I am with my kids – but not really present all the time. My son will also be a freshman this coming year, my daughter will be 7th grade. We are currently at our family cabin for the month, to get time away together. However, we have internet here and I do have my computer… I will have to be spending time working each day. Hopefully, we’ll get almost daily walks down to the beach. {I’m in Alaska, so don’t think warm & sandy…think rocks & jeans/sweatshirt, but I have a gorgeous view! :-)}

      • Thanks April for replying. I hopped over to your beautiful blog for a moment and look forward to checking out more. Try to enjoy your time at the cabin!

  24. 11, 13, 16, and 17 left. And I’m enjoying every second. Thanks for the reminder.

  25. I have 6 summers with my oldest, 9 summers with my middle and 13 summers with our daughter.

    I cry thinking about only having 6 with my oldest. It does go by soooo fast.

  26. Ugh! I only have 4 summers with my oldest and 7 with my youngest. :-(, I really don’t like this subject at all. :-) I love having my kids at home, and I already miss their younger years. We are on a month long get away (at our family cabin) now for the purpose of making the most of each day. *sigh* It really has gone too fast.

  27. We haven’t started yet, but what a fun (and pretty!) post! :-)

  28. 2 left with our oldest. 5 summers left with our youngest. Bitter sweet. Your post inspired a scrapbook page! Thanks :)


  29. Andrea A says:

    Our pastor has a jar of marbles that represent how many weekends he has with each of his girls. Every Monday, he takes a marble out of each jar. It is an awesome reminder of this same kind of thing- one of his daughters is finishing her freshman year in high school, and her jar looks so empty! A great visual, if you want to stay mindful.

  30. Wow. Thanks for the fresh perspective. Time flies!!

  31. this is one of the best parts of homeschooling – I’m with my kids all year long, so I don’t have to count summers. Each day is a gift.

  32. Thanks for the reminder to go ahead and wallow on those summer days when I feel like all we’re doing is wallowing around in books and heat and laziness.

  33. Oh geez Nester way to make me count my summers! (shedding tear….) I both love *and dread* this time of year, it’s harder to work when you work from home as a mom but there are those precious moments of swimming and sunning and laughing that are not to be missed! Good on you girl for taking charge and deciding what works best for your family, you’re a roll model!

  34. Last year after leaving full time work to stay home with my girls… I was inspired by the song “seasons of love” from the musical Rent… “five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes… How do you measure a year”
    With that I figured that we had about 3 million minutes before our oldest goes to college… And I wanted to find ways to make those minutes memorable for us as a family.

  35. Revisited this post and did a “Slowing Down for Summer” post of my own. Thanks for the reminder. I feel more calm recognizing ahead of time I won’t get as much done because I will be enjoying time with my kids.

  36. I have 14 and 16 left but I have to say I think we do a pretty good job on the summer front – when my oldest was 1 I took him for 2 weeks to Maine and Wisconsin, just the 2 of us. Then last summer I took the 2 kids (3 years old and 3 months old) on a 3 week road trip around the USA with grandma. This summer we will be leaving in TWENTY DAYS for our first international trip and spending five weeks in Ecuador (3 at the beach 2 in the mountains). While I am certainly not a perfect mom, I can at least say that summers are something special! Can’t wait!

  37. Although I frequently joke that I’m counting down the years (now, summers) until our oldest (15 1/2) leaves the nest so I can turn her room into my personal walk-in closet/dressing room, it makes me sad that we potentially only have 3 more summers with her here, when I actually stop to think about it. We have 10 left with our little man. And now that you’ve helped me see it from a new perspective, I’m going to be sure to take full advantage of every single one of them. Thank you. Robyn

  38. Hey, have to ask… were you at Carowinds Wed, May 30th? I know that sounds stalkerish, but I swear I saw you on the waterpark! :)
    And now after seeing your park pics I’m really convincing myself that was you! :)

  39. 18 years is a very long time. Too long.

  40. I have four with my oldest. Time flies….I will continue to enjoy and deny otherwise I would cry. (:

  41. As a mom of a now sophomore in college I promise you this is all to true… only 18 summers with your babies. I have 17 and 12 left with my other to and plan to treasure every moment of their summertimes with me. I’ve collected a few of my favorite things and shared, would love for you to add yours as well. http://theeducatorsspinonit.blogspot.com/2012/06/afterschool-express-summer-bucket-list.html

  42. Thanks for putting everything in perspective for me!

  43. So grateful for this post, so touching, and really jolting to realize how fast/limited time is with our little ones.

    Please, would you mind sharing that font from the photo with the roller coaster?

    Thank you and God bless.

  44. Dawn McDowell says:

    This is our last summer with our oldest. He will live at home during college, but already this summer is so different. He is gone working and with friends so much. I am in tears thinking of it! I think I need to drag him to the waterpark! I have 5 more, 7 more and 8 more with the younger 3. That is such a stark realization.

  45. I have just begun this journey with my daughter, so we have 17 summers to go until she graduates from HS. However I already am feeling the phrase, the days are long and the years are short :)


  46. Technically, this is our “last” summer. We have 4 amazing kids….this summer they will be:
    The 23 and 21 year olds have moved out and are living the dream in NYC {where the hubby and I are from}. Somehow, when they moved out and into life, I was so excited for them! They were ready…I was ready.
    But my boys at home…they are both completing their JR year in HS. Their SR is planned out and they are readying themselves for “real” jobs in the fall {a requirement we put on our kids once they are Srs. We believe this helps prepare them for the “real” world of college AND working :) }.
    These boys leaving…WOW! It is freaking me out way more than the older kids.
    Maybe it’s because my relationship with them is so different! Having just the 2 home, I have more time for late night conversations and driving them to places :). Valuable talk time!
    Maybe it’s because we will be real empty nesters.
    Maybe it’s because I am ALSO turning 50 this year!!
    Maybe it’s because I believe we are approaching the end of an era and, while truly exciting, this new era with my hubby {of 26+ years} is unknown territory.
    But more than likely it is the combination of all of the above and about a thousand other factors!
    I would encourage everyone here to embrace what ever summers you have left with your kiddos and live them to the fullest! Accept the truth that little things DO matter and that if their rooms are still a mess, it’s all good!

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