Today marks the end of the last summer I had with just one little girl. When I think back to the beginning of summer, I am amazed by how much she has learned, the amount of words she's learned, how much taller she is, how much longer her hair has gotten, how many movies she's memorized, and how many new experiences she has had. I won't pretend it was perfect because it wasn't -- the unbearable heat through most of July combined with my ever-expanding belly and aching muscles made it hard to keep active some days. She fought through naptime for hours at a time on some days. She had to sit in time out for pinching, hitting, pushing, or running away from us on some days. But there were other days that were fabulous. Days where she patted the grass next to her, put her arms behind her head, and asked me to watch the clouds with her. Days where I got to watch her chase the cat at Grandma's house and see the delight in her eyes when the poor cat would let her pick it up and drag it to her next destination. Days where we both tried something new and we both learned something. Days where I got to watch her imagination start to blossom - where she would tell me she had to march up the hill to save the sheep outside or afternoons spent hunting for Swiper the Fox in our tree and bushes in the front. I got to listen to her sing songs, recite her ABCs almost perfect, count to 15 out of the blue like it was no big deal, nod my head in approval when she finally learned to identify the 12 colors in her colored pencil pack correctly, sit by while she swooped puzzle pieces together on Grandma's iPad faster and faster each time she pulled up a puzzle, beam with pride when she was brave enough to try to swing in a big kid swing or play in the swimming pool when she was kind of afraid at first, and so many other marvelous things.
I am sincerely thankful and humbled to have a job that allows me such a precious chunk of time to spend with my family. I am so happy I didn't miss any of the moments I was given this summer. And I'm trying not to get too emotional, although it's not working too well, because I know in just 10 weeks I will have the time back. Our lives will change again dramatically -- it will be challenging at times, probably more often than I would hope, but it will also come with moments like these - moments where I can stop to think of how fortunate I am to witness the blossoming of my children and shower them with love. Here's to the next chapter. It's arrived, whether we're ready to let go or not.
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