Don't you just love that quote? I do. In fact, it is one of my favorites even though I sometimes struggle to embrace it fully.
Lately, I have found myself saying those words to my younger daughter quite a bit. She has such big heart and she loves so fully, completely, and intensely. The only problem is that, sometimes, she holds on so tightly to moments of joy that she doesn't want to let them go.
Recently, my three daughters and I were fortunate enough to spend four days in San Francisco with my husband while he traveled for a business trip. It was the first time the girls and I had been there. We saw so many wonderful, beautiful things and spent four days together. It was wonderful. Until it was over. The night that we returned home, my sweet little Emily lay in her bed sobbing with tears streaming down her little, freckled cheeks because she was so sad that the trip was over; so sad that we had to go back to our "real" lives which means not being together around the clock.
Just a week later, after the start of school, I, once again, found her in tears. "Why are you crying?" I asked. Eventually, she said through her tears, "I don't want summer to be over!" She went on to explain that she has "the best sisters in the whole world and the best mommy and the best daddy." She said she misses us when she is at school all day.
My heart broke into a million tiny pieces.
Of course, I wanted to wrap her in my arms as tightly as I could, tell her that she could stay with me forever and that she never had to go to school again.
Instead, I quoted Dr. Seuss.
I told her to be happy about all the fun things we did over the summer. I reminded her how much she likes her new teacher and that, if she was always at home, she wouldn't see her friends. I also pointed out that, if we really did spend all of our time together, then it probably wouldn't seem so special anymore.
As I was caught up in all the back to school madness, I was looking forward to finally having some sense of routine and maybe even few moments of quiet time. However, I paused for just a minute as I hugged her and wiped her tears to reflect and remember all the wonderful moments of the summer.
I breathed in the afternoon spent with cousins laughing and splashing in the pool. I reabsorbed the lazy mornings and the staying-up-too-late nights. I recalled the Fourth of July cookout with friends. I could almost feel the ocean breeze as I thought about our two trips to the beach - once with family; once with good friends. I closed my eyes and saw the mountains again, recalling time with my parents, brother, nieces, and nephew. I heard the music of the Happy Birthday chorus. Of course, I treasured the memories of San Fran.
At the end of each summer, I usually feel very conflicted - sad to see summer end, yet happy to get back to a more regular routine. This time around, though, I have been leaning more toward the sad said of that seesaw. This summer seemed to pass by more quickly than any I remember in the past. We didn't quite manage to check off everything on our Summer Bucket List, but it was still full and wonderful. Honestly, the last couple of weeks my kids have actually gotten along pretty well, so I wasn't really even that anxious to kick them out of the house.
I could have used a couple more weeks of summer vacation; a few more days to soak it in. Alas, time marched on and days passed. I barely had time to blink before we were school shopping and making lunchbox menus once again. I will take the same advice I gave my sweet girl, though. I will not be sad that it's over (not too sad, anyway). Instead, I will be happy - so very happy - that we had such a wonderful summer!
This post is part of the Finish the Sentence Friday Link Up Hosted by Kristi from Finding Ninee and Stephanie from Mommy, For Real.
This week's co-host is Kerri from Undiagnosed But Okay.