I love letting them sleep in and crawl out of bed with morning hair that I can admire for several hours.
I love the comfort of an un-rushed breakfast where we can talk, laugh, and make up silly songs.
I miss the days when it doesn’t matter what they wear, if their jeans have holes, or if their skirt and shirt match.
I love the days when you don’t have to look for or wear shoes. Instead it’s okay to go barefoot all day, and then wash those dirty, wiggly toes off with the outside hose.
I look forward to our four hour board games where I should win because I’m the adult, but I don’t because they have kid’s luck.
I look forward to neighborhood walks with a trail of chattering kids that would make a mother duck jealous.
I love the impromptu game of tag at the park, sitting spider on the swing, and then heading home, afterwards, for a big glass of water and a colorful popsicle.
I love watching little faces bury themselves in a slice of watermelon and come back up with a red, sticky, dripping face. I love competing to see who can spit the seeds the farthest.
I love our trips to the pool where I watch their determined attempts to swim a little bit farther this time, the look of triumph on their face when they finally make it across the pool without stopping, and the water games they play when they’ve mastered their strokes.
I love our romps in the woods where we jump over creeks and compete for who’s stick will float the fastest or who’s rock will make the biggest splash.
I love lazy afternoons where, after a crazy morning, we lay on a couch or floor somewhere, and pour over a delicious book.
I love our summer outings to the library, the museum, and even the grocery store. Anything can be an adventure when you have kids along.
I love the mad dash through a hail storm to get everyone safely inside, giggling as we go, and awing over mother nature’s tricks.
I love cuddling a frightened child through a thunderstorm, talking through their terror, and then watching them discover the wonder of lightning.
I love coloring through an entire coloring book, surrounded by three boxes worth of scattered crayons, half of which have been unwrapped.
I love working alongside my children, weeding the garden, mowing the lawn, picking the fruit, and putting up jam.
I love relaxing around a fire pit with warm knees and a cold back, attempting to roast marshmallows to perfection, and still eating them when they’ve burned.
I love hearing the calls and laughter of night games, when they stay up way too late, and head outside to play with their friends.
I love their solid, exhausted sleep after a long, sunny day of childhood freedom.
I love summers because I finally get my kids back, to play with, to work with, and to live with for just a little bit longer. Before I know it they’ll be all grown up, and their summer days will be just like all the other workdays, peppered with only distant memories of childhood summers past.