18 Summers. How Many Do You Have Left?

18 summers


It’s the backwards count down that I make myself do every year.

We have to. It’s horrible and also a wonderful reminder.

Our oldest has 3 summers (I started counting the one after the senior year, I’m fooling myself counting that one, I know).

The middle son has 6 more summers.

Our youngest has 7 more summers.


the days are long but the years are short

How many summers do your children have left at home?

P.S. Has anyone read the book Just 18 Summers? I think I’m adding it to my summer reading list.

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  1. Wow. I have never thought of this…EVER. And I have 4 kids! If I count the summer after my youngest’s senior year…then I have one. One more summer left. I don’t even think I can wrap my mind around that. I’m “older” and my kids are late teens and early 20’s. I’ve seen these seasons come and go…and it’s hard…the growing pains. For our kids AND for us. But I agree with the lady who said that from the time they start kindergarten, they are moving away from home. And with the lady who posted that you CAN have more than 18 summers with your kids, they just change from year to year. We never lived near any of my family growing up…but our married daughter lives in our town. It probably won’t always be this way, but I am enjoying every minute of it for as long as it lasts. I think the idea of “18 summers” is to realize how fleeting this life is, and to make sure we are investing in and focused on the important things. Because we all enjoy making memories, but minds fail and pictures fade. It’s the values and life lessons we are passing on…teaching our kids how to lean on and trust the Lord in good times and bad…that will be what sustains our family long after we are gone.

  2. Fancy Machine says

    I’ve heard the 18 summers concept from several other bloggers too. Is it just the most common scenario that American teens move out at about 18 for college/university/religious trips? Gotta say that most of my peers went to local universities and stayed at home until they were far older than 18 (either done university or married), but then again, we’re Asian and it would have been seen as unusual to move out at 18 unless you decided on an far away school. Or do you just mean that those 18 summers are the ones where they spend the most quality time at home?

    Either way, it’s a great way to make sure that all your time counts! It goes by quickly no matter how long you live at home :)

  3. Anonymous says

    We’re at four extra years with our 22yo. Two extra years with our 20yo. One left with our 17yo. Three with our 15yo. Then a big gap with 11, 13, and 17 years respectively with our 7yo, 5yo, and 15 month old. Our location and lifestyle allow all of us to be together practically 24/7 all week, every week, all year long. Many memories to savor, remember and never ever take for granted.

  4. Jennifer says

    My oldest just graduated and has been and will be in and out all summer. He leaves for college first part of August. I have great memories of little boys, but it’s time. I will miss him as much as I am ready for him to get out. Don’t get me wrong I love him with all my heart but God makes 18 year old drive you crazy b/c he knows its time for them to go out on their own. More than anything I am proud if him and excited for his next new adventure. Hopefully he’ll be back for summer visits for the rest of his life;-)).

  5. Watcha talking about??? Won’t your boys be coming home during the summer while they are in college?

  6. I had this one last summer with my boy until he was accepted to his first choice school for the summer session. He leaves in 16 days. His graduation party is tomorrow, he graduates next Friday, and we move him in on June 29. I’m thrilled for him, but feel completely cheated out of our “last” summer.

  7. Anonymous says

    Just fyi, the quote you have “the days are long, but the years are short” is from Gretchen Rubin (author of The Happiness Project). It might be a good idea to give credit to her…

    • Gretchen Rubin is great, but she by no means coined the adage

      • yep it’s been said LOOOOONG before her! I heard it about 15 years ago from our pastor, and he’s not the one who made it up either. I think years ago I tried to attribute it, but couldn’t find an actual source. Anyone know the real source?

  8. I have no guaranteed summers left. It seems surreal that we got here so fast. One just graduated college and the other is a rising sophomore in college.

    But…they are home now. I have THIS summer. And it’s a special gift I didn’t know I’d have. God is good!

  9. My son only has 3 summers left too.. yes I am counting…..

  10. I didn’t think of that idea before but i’m already loving it! Waiting for next summer…

  11. I’m a sucker for books. So I ordered it earlier from Amazon.com. Thanks for the heads up. (My wife might shoot me for buying *another* book. LOL!)

    Craziest thing, but, I am planning to read it during our family SUMMER vacation. That may not be the best idea, but I’m going to be brave and crack it open while sitting in the sun. Watching my two boys fish from a pier. How’s THAT for surreal? Oh. Lord.

    My oldest son just completed his first year of college. It’s true: when they come back, they are a different person. There’s good and bad in all that. I think they call it ‘growing up’. But I’m not 100% sure.

    My youngest son starts high school in the fall. So…while I really don’t like all this ‘counting’ business, I am painfully aware that time goes so, so fast. I need to cherish the moments. The good ones and the not-so-good ones.

    Who EVER said it, it is the truth: “The days are long but the years are short.” I encourage all of us to leave the petty crap behind and focus on what’s really important.

    Enjoy your summer — whatever number you give it.

    : )

  12. My oldest graduated last Friday. This is it. One last summer. And I AM counting this summer! It kinda feels like a broken heart to be honest. Like I’m losing a limb or something. Ironically enough, my sweet boy is headed your way- UNCC! He has his whole life in front of him, I am just going to be taking a back seat and playing a slightly lesser role in his life. But I will always be Mom and he will always be mine.

  13. So true! Mine are out of the house now and I miss them, but oh, I enjoyed them while they were home!

  14. I’ve been doing this since the first time I heard you talk about it. My oldest has 6 summers, 2nd has 9, 3rd has 10 and 4th has 15. It sounds like a lot on paper but with the speed my oldest has come to, I know they will be over in a blink. I’m savoring and remembering to stay in the moment as best as I can.

  15. I am counting too

  16. It kinda feels like a broken heart to be honest. Like I’m losing a limb or something. Ironically enough, my sweet boy is headed your way- UNCC! He has his whole life in front of him, I am just going to be taking a back seat and playing a slightly lesser role in his life. But I will always be Mom and he will always be mine.

  17. Wow, never really thoughts about it, but you got me counting too! Sometimes days are really long, but years, they fly by so fast… Wish we could slow down a bit :)

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