Summer adventures. Last year at this time, I was dropping my son off at the airport to fly north with my father-in-law. He was six. He repeatedly told me he didn’t need any help at the airport. He looked thoroughly irritated when I took photos and asked for a hug before I left. I think he might have said goodbye as I walked away slowly choking back tears. Hours later I would receive a text with a photo of him sitting in the cockpit of the plane ….smiling from ear to ear. I pretty much knew at that point that he was off and running. Let’s be honest…I knew before then, but I accepted it at that point. His sister was too little to go with him last year (you should read this as…I was too terrified to be without her). This summer, however, she is GAME ON. I knew it was coming. I’ve been making excuses for months on why she shouldn’t go…she’s too young, blah blah blah. Alas, she has been talking nonstop for weeks about going to Wisconsin, swimming in the lake, going on the boat with Papa, riding her bike, and riding on the ferry from Michigan. She was doggedly determined. The past week has been filled with her repeatedly telling me, “I don’t need you Mom”. Each time she says it, it’s like a dagger through the heart…and yet I smile and I say, “You don’t need me!”…for her sake and mine. It’s a good thing, although it’s mighty painful for my mama heart. And so today I packed them in the car with their bags and bikes and pillow pets and we drove north to meet my in-laws.

The windmills mark the half way point. I find these mesmerizing no matter the season. Hypnotic.

We met at a restaurant for lunch. We hugged our hellos and the kiddos talked nonstop about riding on the ferry.

Not a single tear was shed. Lots of smiles and hugs and “I Love You’s”…reminders that they can call me as much as they need/want to. And then they were off….off on their own summer adventure over the river and through the woods to Grandma & Papa’s house. My heart ached watching them pull away. It’s the ebb and flow of parenting isn’t it? In a week, we’ll drive to pick them up and they’ll talk nonstop about everything they did and saw…and I’ll be reminded how important these trips are for them. Do your children have summer trips? Did you have any special summer adventures when you were young? I’m all ears if you feel like sharing….




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  1. Morgan #
    July 12, 2012

    Some oft best memories of summer were spent at my grandmother’s lake cabin in Iowa. I can relate to what your kids are going through. It is great for their relationships with their grandparents.

  2. Nicole Reese #
    July 12, 2012

    I was fighting back tears while reading this! You are amazing for “letting them go” and make these memories with their grandparents. I can imagine how hard it is to watch them go but they will thank you one day for these moments 🙂

    We go to Myrtle Beach every year with my parents & brother, sis in law & nieces. The kids look forward to this trip every year and I love the memories we are making for them. My parents are in Heaven having both of their children & their 4 grandchildren all to themselves for a week. I hope and pray I can carry on this tradition when I’m a grandparent 🙂

    Happy Summer!!!

  3. Goda Ona #
    July 12, 2012

    Kudos to you for starting to accept and let go a little already now.. You are right – it’s good for them and you, however terrifying and painful. Hugs to you, mama.. and hey.. doesn’t it mean you have a week of not cooking, late nights at Chatterbox, sleeping in or whatever you’ve been putting off?
    Summers at my grandparents farm were magical.. I’m thoroughly happy for your kiddos!
    p.s. In that embrace picture Michael looks so much like his grandma..

  4. July 12, 2012

    i can imagine how you feel, i got teary eyed just reading this. i don’t know what it was, but the picture of m. helping with the bike really got to me.
    we haven’t let our little ones go like that yet (no one’s really offered – ha!), but i think i’m ready for that step. not that it would be easy, though.
    some of my favorite summer memories are when my entire family get together at the beach. by entire family i mean all 35+ of us. grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and now all of our little ones. it’s a crazy hectic week of good times. we don’t do it every year, but i really love nothing more than when we’re all together. i wish it happened more often.

    enjoy your week!

  5. July 12, 2012

    All the pictures with that purple stuffed thing made me well up with tears. My daughter is only two and would be thrilled to be allowed to go have a summer adventure, but my heart would shatter. Maybe when she’s older. Like, 36.

  6. July 13, 2012

    Yay! You did it!! How awesome is the week going? Tell me it’s real good. It has to be.

  7. Kevin #
    July 16, 2012

    These pictures are stunning. I’m always impressed by the photos she takes, but these pull at my heartstrings. Amazing work, as always.

  8. July 24, 2012

    “And then they were off….off on their own summer adventure” <3,<3,<3
    As you well know my little one has quite a few years before he is off on his own summer adventure. But I cant wait to have summer adventures with him and hear about the ones that he has on his own. Shedding happy tears for their summer adventures…
    My dear you inspire me!

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