Summertime With Big Kids


Summertime With Big Kids

Summer has always been my favorite season. I love the laid-back vibes, the trips, the pool days, and even the heat (most of the time). When I became a mom, summers became tougher. The logistics of doing all my favorite summer activities became much more stressful. There was so much to worry about: sunburn, overheating, swim diapers, naps, water safety, eating sand, etc.

Well, this summer, my twins are seven and my youngest is three, and we have hit a new era of summertime experiences.

I didn’t even realize it at first. It wasn’t until I was packing a pool bag that it hit me. I started thinking about all the things I wasn’t packing. There were no swim diapers or puddle jumpers. There was nothing in my bag for my older girls because they had packed their own pool bags. They even made most of their own lunches to bring.

When we reached the pool, my older girls were able to apply some of their own sunscreen and go to the bathroom on their own. They required me to watch them still in the water, but I was able to relax a little knowing that they can swim. My youngest can skip her nap with no major fallout now, so there was no rushing home for naptime or frantically trying to keep her awake in the car. 

The change has been apparent in other ways too.

As I packed my family for our beach trip, there was less equipment to bring. There was no clunky pack-in-play to try to squeeze in the car or stroller to fit in the trunk. My twins and I stayed up way past bedtime at Dollywood riding the “big kid rides” for which they are suddenly tall enough. We even got to stay late enough to see the fireworks. We’ve been able to try new adventures like wading in the creek at Founder’s Park, and we’ve not had to avoid afternoon activities due to naptime. We were even able to attend the Vols baseball team’s victory parade. That’s something I never would have attempted with younger kids.

It’s bittersweet in some ways.

There are moments that I miss the baby days, even with the added stress they involved. Plus, I know that my three-year-old is our last child. As each milestone of parenting passes, I know it’s the final time for me. I shed a few tears over removing the baby swing from the swing set, and it makes me sad that I am seeing the water table in its final days. Like every parent says, I can’t believe how much my kids have grown up and how fast it’s going.

But, even with the sad, nostalgic moments, I have to say that summertime with big kids is so much fun. I will always wish I could keep them little, but since I can’t stop time, I am trying to recognize the ways that parenthood has gotten easier. I am more excited than sad because I have a feeling that it gets even better from here.


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