Wednesday, July 17, 2013

To Everything There Is A Season...

Summer days at the trailer have always been about sand and water and being a "fun" mummy. I pride myself on being entirely present for the Reds in ways that I am not, in our "regular" life:

At the trailer, we eat more snack food, read more comic books and play more games.

We stay up later, around the campfire and I let them eat marshmallows by the handful.

The Reds are still - or were, until this summer - charmed by the idea of sleeping in a bed that magically gets pulled out of the couch.

We spend long afternoons at the water's edge, playing in sand and paddling out into the cool lake whenever the sun's rays get too hot.

I do not spend a single minute on the computer, shushing their requests with a harried, "In a minute, guys...just give me a minute here!"

I don't have a cell phone to distract me from being their mum, entirely present in each and every moment.

And I love every single one.

On Monday morning, I gulped down my coffee, eager to greet the day with them.

Hauled towels and noodles and water-wings and snacks down to the water, prepared for a full day of making memories for my sons.

Instead, they met two brothers around their age.

Instead of watching them play at my feet in the shade of a tree, I watched them race off to play in the full sun with their new friends.

Instead of piling muddy buckets upon muddy buckets and digging out moats for sandcastles, I settled back with a book...and didn't turn a page.

Instead, I nodded when the Reds bounded over, pleading to visit their new friends' cabin ("It's number 8, Mummy, in case you need us for anything!") and felt my heart swell...and quietly break.

My sons are indeed making memories.

They're just making ones that don't always include me.

I smiled bravely and waved back when they stopped and turned in unison, waving,  as though they sensed the shift, too.

The Reds at the Buck, in Buckhorn, Ontario

And then they were off, out of my sight, their laughter drifting back to where I sat, thinking, "But weren't they just born?"

And you?
What are your bittersweet memories of letting your children go grow?


  1. Really lovely, Liz. Just wait until you drive them away to university. So proud that you and they got to this point but realizing that they are no longer yours. ( I slept in my daughter's bed that night wrapped around an outgrown teddy bear and cried myself to sleep.

    1. I get that, the teddy bear thing. Boy, do I get it. It is so hard, this letting go stuff. I know it's normal and healthy and I am so pleased for them...just sad for me.

      Thanks for getting it and popping by!

  2. Doesn't it stink when you realize that you have done right by your children by encouraging them to explore the world, and then it comes back to give you a black eye? I'm living it myself!