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  • The First Real Day of Summer

    July 9, 2008

    Monday was the first day that really felt like summer to me.


    Not summer in the sense that the days are hot and long, but summer in the sense that the days are carefree and unencumbered by commitments and obligations — like summer was when I was growing up.  Sean was in a half-day summer camp for the month of June and Monday was the first day we didn’t have anything official on the calendar.


    To celebrate the beginning of our summer, Sean and I decided to escape the heat and go to a local bounce house for a playdate. 


    While I enjoy getting together with other moms and kids, I was secretly thrilled that it would just be the two of us — that we could selfishly do our own thing without having to consider anyone else. I was looking forward to not sharing my little boyfriend with anyone else. 


    When we got to the bounce house place, we stashed our shoes in a cubby hole and ran from house to house, sliding and bouncing and pretending to be lost in a jungle or climbing a mountain.  But then I noticed there seemed to be another little boy tailing us.  I asked him what his name was and he told me Batman.  Batman had set his cap to be Sean’s friend and stuck to us like bubble gum on a sidewalk on a hot day. He followed us from slide to slide and house to house.  At first Sean was not very interested in having Batman for a friend, but his persistence paid off.


    Soon enough, the two of them paired up, slid down the slide together and then ran off in some secret little boy cooperative.  I slid down after them and watched them as they scampered towards another bounce house. Sean stopped midway and turned back to see me sitting at the end of the slide.  I gave him the “Go on, I’m fine” wave.  But he ran back anyway.  “Mom I’ll stay here and play with you,” he offered.


    “No, you go ahead,” I encouraged. “I’m going to rest for now.”  Which wasn’t a lie. I fanned my face with my hand to convince him to go on with Batman.


    He searched my face for the truth.


    “No really, go,” I said cheerfully.


    “Okay,” he said and then zipped off to join his new friend.


    I have worried about him as only child of older parents.  I have worried about him learning to interact and engage with other children.  It hasn’t come easily for him.  It did my heart good to see him make a new friend.


    At the same time, as I watched him disappear around the corner, my heart broke just a little bit to have my playmate stolen away from me on the first real day of summer.





    1. momhuebert says:

      Why is it that so many experiences with our children do this to us? While we beam with pride, our hearts break.

      July 9th, 2008 at 1:11 am

    2. Amanda (Photochick) says:

      Aww… *Sniff!* I know how you feel – even though Livia’s only one, when she runs off to go play with her cousins or a new friend, I feel so happy that she’s so great at interacting with other kids… But when she screams as it’s finally time to leave her little friends, it just breaks my heart! Like, “Don’t you wanna come with Mommy? C’mon Liv, let’s go get a [drink].” Only to be met with a toddler’s screams of NOT wanting to come with me at all! Haha, oh well – at least she’s still small enough to man-handle, and after like 2 minutes she loves me again.

      As always, I love your sweet posts. You make me sure to appreciate all the little bitty things about my daughter. You’re such an amazing Mommy that you help ME to be a better one too! Take care and God Bless you.

      All my love,

      July 9th, 2008 at 2:54 am

    3. jen elslager says:

      that letting go process is so very bittersweet…

      July 9th, 2008 at 3:58 am

    4. Debbie says:

      I had the same experience with my nephew at the local pool recently. As he paired up with another young boy, a new friend, I watched from the side and called my Mom to say thanks for all the times she watched as I ran off with my new friends. Thanks for letting me go.

      July 9th, 2008 at 7:13 am

    5. Angie says:

      Once again you have me crying. So many bittersweet moments of letting my children go, yet knowing they are better off in God’s hands than in mine. I still want to hold them so close.

      July 9th, 2008 at 7:27 am

    6. Meg says:

      Yes, I remember those bittersweet moments. Don’t worry, they’ll end and soon you’ll be pushing them out the door to play in the streets.

      July 9th, 2008 at 7:35 am

    7. Jeana says:


      This growing up thing is hard, isn’t it?

      July 9th, 2008 at 7:36 am

    8. klutzymama says:

      How very sweet. I’ve had to go through this very same thing for the first time with my 6 yr old. She started kindergarten last year and all of a sudden I was no longer the coolest person in her world. It’s heartbreaking and awesome at the same time to see them growing up!

      July 9th, 2008 at 8:12 am

    9. MommyJ says:

      You know what impresses me the most is the sensitivity of your little boy… the fact that he was keenly aware of how my might be feeling bears testimont to the kind of grown up he will be… I don’t think you have anything to worry about when it comes to his abilities to make friends. He is going to be the kind of person everyone wants to be friends with. He’s kind… a quality you don’t always find in 4 year old boys!

      July 9th, 2008 at 8:49 am

    10. Shalee says:

      If I could, I’d come and play with you. I’m not as cute or as snuggly as Sean, but I would certainly run through the jungle with you.

      I’m torn about the letting go part of parenting too. I want it, but I don’t.

      July 9th, 2008 at 9:45 am

    11. Kara @ me-moddy says:

      I have an only child (so far) and we are just used to her being by our side and hanging with us 24/7, that when we moved to a new town and we went out with a bunch of friends, it took us by surprise, because Little Girl was swooped up by some teens of the friends we were with along with some other kiddos and they sat at their OWN table. The girls fed my Little Girl and she played contentedly with them while hubby and I hate peacefully with our friends. While I relished in the adult time, I secretly kept looking over at Little Girl thinking ‘You’re really o.k.? You don’t need me right now? You don’t want me to come help you with your food?”

      Motherhood. It’s a good hurt.

      July 9th, 2008 at 9:55 am

    12. SCY says:

      Wow, told so eloquently…

      When I get my chance to be a Mom one day, I hope to have experiences like this – bittersweet but full of pride too…

      July 9th, 2008 at 10:16 am

    13. Jamie (Ohbecareful!) says:

      Aww, what a little tenderheart, being so considerate of Mommy’s feelings before dashing away. That has to offer some comfort, no? Not all stolen playmates give so much as a backward glance.

      July 9th, 2008 at 10:21 am

    14. Kelly @ Love Well says:

      The double-edged sword of motherhood. We are so excited to watch them spread their wings, even though we know it means those wings will someday carry them out of the nest.

      Beautiful, AM.

      July 9th, 2008 at 11:13 am

    15. Linda says:

      The way you write makes me feel like I was there with you!

      Beautiful. And Sean…what a blessing he is! You trained him well.

      July 9th, 2008 at 11:35 am

    16. julie says:

      I am sorry you lost your play date, but happy Sean made a new friend!

      July 9th, 2008 at 11:42 am

    17. Tom says:

      It’s normal, it’s natural, it is to be encouraged, but it’s still difficult. It’s a growth challenge for both parent and child. Hang in there.

      July 9th, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    18. Betty G. says:

      Welcome to Motherhood…
      You WANT them to branch out and make new friends and not cling to us parents. It is sometimes difficult, but necessary. You are doing just fine and he is progressing in a normal manner. Be glad and rejoice in that!

      Betty in Oklahoma

      July 9th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    19. Marmee says:

      The world would be a better place if all parents had your insight and wisdom.

      Watching your kids grow up and take wings and fly is bittersweet. You want to see them succeed, but inevitably they will leave the nest….

      July 9th, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    20. jean says:

      I wish I could tell you that your heart won’t get broken again, but it will. A new friend, a teacher, another Mom, even a girl – these are the people who will befriend your son. Each time your heart will break and mend again when you realize that it’s just Sean growing up.

      July 9th, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    21. susan says:

      I’m so glad I found your blog! I’m the 47-year-old mother of a 2-year-old, and I can relate to so much. My little one is a social butterfly, but I still worry about her future.

      July 9th, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    22. Janelle says:

      It’s a trick of parenthood to be able to feel two such strong and conflicting emotions at the same time.

      July 9th, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    23. Renna says:

      What a sensitive little heart he has!

      Someday, that little boy is going to make some young woman a find husband…but I know you don’t want to think about THAT right now! 😉

      July 9th, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    24. tracey says:

      Geez, you should have warned us to get some tissues before reading, girl!!

      Sigh… It’s bittersweet, this mommy thing.

      July 9th, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    25. Samantha says:

      Hi there,
      I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog for quite a while now. This is a very sweet post and was good for me to read today.

      I’m pregnant with my first baby and found out yesterday I’m having a boy. I’m thrilled to pieces, but at the same time nervous about having a boy. I grew up with girls. I just assumed I’d have a girl. I don’t really know boys.

      So as a boy mom, can you tell me how great it is? How you never thought having a little boy would fill your soul the way it does?

      Although I suppose this beautiful post did just that. Thank you.

      July 9th, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    26. Roxanne says:

      I was at a playground with Thad one time while Victoria was in Brownies. There was a little boy we didn’t know from Adam–they were the only two kids there. Thad ran by the boy, backed up, looked at him–did not say A WORD–then started running again. The little boy ran after him and they played happily (without much talking mind you) for the next hour.

      Children are just so amazing–and yours is precious as well.

      July 9th, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    27. AnnieH says:

      I lurk around every now & then, but just had to say this post tugged at my heartstrings. I am in the process of letting my only baby go to pre-school. As heartbreaking as it is, I realize socially it’s the best for him. Just know you aren’t the only one that has those bittersweet moments. I experience them quite often as we are nearing his 5th b-day! Thanks for sharing.

      July 9th, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    28. Cheryl says:

      Motherhood is a terrible blessing. We love them, nurture them, encourage them…all to have them grow up and away from us. Your post made me reflect on my current situation. My 19 year old son is a college student, and he is home for the summer. Last Fall, when he started his Freshman year and I helped move him in to the dorm, I felt as though my heart was breaking into a million pieces. I couldn’t imagine that I could hurt more than that. I was wrong. My son is moving in to an apartment in August. He is moving out for real…no coming home for breaks from school. He is going out on his own. I am so proud of him and the man he has become. I am excited for him to begin this new chapter in his life. I feel like I am going to die of heartbreak. Motherhood is not for sissies.

      July 9th, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    29. cyn says:

      Oh! Such a part of them breaking free but hanging on. Growing up was too fast.
      By the way, I think you are doing a GREAT job with that precious child. Not that the opinion of a stranger means much. I love the way you love him (so either you lie well on your blog or really are raising him to be a wonderful young man).

      July 9th, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    30. Michelle says:

      You rock for getting out there and playing on those bouncy houses!

      July 9th, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    31. JMBMOMMY says:

      Sweet story…aahh..they grow up so fast!

      July 9th, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    32. Tara says:

      My husband is an only child of older parents (his parents married late and only got one offspring out before “the change”).

      Keep giving Sean playdates. More and more and more. And then some more. 🙂

      July 10th, 2008 at 10:48 am

    33. Alexis Ahrens says:

      Another post that brought tears to my eyes. My 21-month-old son is also the only child of older parents. He’s not a particularly snuggly one, at that, so I feel the heartbreak of separation and his growing independence regularly. Recently, I’ve even felt myself pulling away inside just the tiniest bit. It’s a surprising challenge to stay open to the love and its accompanying heartache. You express this struggle so beautifully. Thank you.

      July 11th, 2008 at 11:09 pm

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