18 Summers

Compton Verney Warwickshire

There has been a lot of conversation and writing about having 18 summers with our children. If you’ve missed it then I salute you, it probably means that you’ve either not been glued to social media or you’ve managed to side step the discussion. It comes up on my timeline several times over especially during the summer months. The thing is, I don’t think that I have 18 summers with my boys. I have forever.

With every passing year my children change. They grow. They slowly but surely find their feet, their voices. They learn to do things for themselves. Using the toilet is one big milestone. Doing up laces is perhaps another. Riding a bike, zipping up a coat, cutting up their food. You name it they start to do it. I am proud of their achievements and the people that they are. I celebrate the little moments as well as the big. When we go to a park I let them wander that little bit further, climb that little bit higher. I notice these changes but I don’t feel sad. I feel proud.

When they reach 18 they will be young adults, ready to roam and fly the nest as it were. The nest though, our home, will be here for them for as long as Jacob and I are in it. It will be here when they find a life partner. It will be here if grandchildren come along. It will be here every day of every year, just as it is now. Sure they may not live with us any more, they may take holidays without us, but they will still be in our lives and I very much hope that we will be part of theirs.

In the woods

The idea of 18 summers focuses on only having 18 summers whilst our little ones are children. Really though, when I was 15 or 16 I don’t recall hanging out with my parents that much. I had my first job and spent a lot of time earning and saving for my future. I am pretty sure that I went on holiday with my parents (I recollect exploring Northumberland with them both when I was around that age) but I am also confident that I was given the choice of whether or not to go.

It also assumes that children behave like young children until they are 18. I don’t think either of my parents would have presumed to tell me what to do when I was a teenager. I like to think that they raised an independently minded woman who can stand on her own two feet, and I hope that I am doing the same with my boys.

On the flip side of that both Jacob and I have been on holidays with our parents since we have grown into adults. The relationship may shift, a younger generation have arrived, but we are still family. We still have that connection. Yes, my father didn’t have to pack my bags when I last went away with him, but I didn’t have to pack Chief’s bag for our last holiday either.

Counting down 18 summers feels as though we are charting a diminishing timeline, but to what? And for what reason? None that I can think of! It also feels as though through counting down we are cheating ourselves out of some of the simple pleasures of life by being really present in the moment rather than always thinking ahead.

Sunshine in the fields

So am I counting down 18 summers with my children? Absolutely not! I am aiming to take each day as it comes. To enjoy each weekend, each holiday and each seasonal period with them. I hope that lasts forever.

18 Summers Cup of Toast

What do you think about the idea of 18 summers? Do you feel pressure to make each one spectacular or are you hoping (or do you know) that the fun will last beyond childhood days? Let me know!

13th September 2018

12 comments

This was all over my Facebook and I agree with you. Our time will change but that’s part of them growing and seeing them become their own people and watching them grow their wings

Precisely. It shouldn’t be a countdown!

I saw it and I scrolled on by thinking it was a load of nonsense. For some reason people seem to think it is ok to make Meme’s like this and for what? Making you feel bad for having a duvet day? ‘Wasting’ a summers day with your child for not going out. Nope. I have a lifetime of summers to go out or ‘waste’ with a blanket and film. #Blogstravaganza

And those duvet days might end up being the ones that hold the best memories 🙂 xx

I missed all talk of 18 summers, so was grateful to find your post. I agree with what you say. There should be no limit to the number of summers we can enjoy with our children. Counting down feels quite brutal and I’d like to think our son will still want to come away with us when he’s older than 18! xx

Exactly, we’ll have good days and bad, but for me it’s about the whole picture. That doesn’t end when our children become adults. Xx

That’s exactly what I thought! I vividly remember being on holiday with my parents in France when I was sixteen and vowing I would never holiday with them again, I haven’t! I will however be seeing them tomorrow and I’m a lot older than 18. It just seems a silly thing to focus on and more pressure which we just don’t need! #blogstravaganza

I agree. It feels like a countdown that we don’t need x

I agree with this. why limit it to 18 summers? I hope to have many more after that – and actually I also spend way more time with my parents now in the summer than as a kid, choosing to go away or for day trips, walks in the park, lunches etc. I hope it’ll be the same with my kids x #Blogstravaganza

That’s it. Although we’re adults we can still have a relationship with our parents, and that changes over each year anyway, child or not.

I hate it personally I don’t need the pressure to be this perfect parent X #blogstravaga

I agree. I think we are all perfect in our imperfectness 😉 x

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