This beautiful end of summer with my little girl

beautiful sunshine in field

As I write this, my daughter is playing Monopoly with a friend, and my son is in his room driving a remote control car around.

I just finished doing some writing for C2BU and was wrapping up a few things on my computer when I looked at my calendar and saw that I have a school check-in day with my daughter at her middle school this week.

Middle school.

I know I’ve mentioned the fact that I can hardly believe she’s in sixth grade, but it seems like as the date gets closer, I can’t even think about it without getting choked up.

I’m not emotional about it because I’m sad.

I’m not sad.

I’m just… emotional.

It’s the same way I felt when I walked her into preschool, her tiny hand holding tightly onto mine, her thumb in her mouth because she was a little unsure.

I felt like this her first day of kindergarten too, as I hurried away after dropping her off, hiding my tears under my sunglasses, hoping nobody would notice that I was crying.

It’s not that I want her to stay young, and it’s not that I don’t want her to be away from home.

That’s not it.

It’s just that I’m amazed

and overwhelmed

and sentimental

about the fact that she used to be a tiny baby in my arms,

mostly sleeping or crying,

and now she’s on the brink of becoming a teenager,

then a woman.

In seven years, I’ll have raised a woman.

See? Here come the tears again.

“Mommy, we’re going outside,” she just called.

They must be done with Monopoly.

“Okay,” I say, masking the emotion in my voice.

I remember when she was younger and I used to have to go outside with her.

I remember when I’d bring a blanket out on the grass and let her crawl around and play.

I remember the time when she was two and ate a flower and I called poison control in a panic.

And the time she was four and finger-painted hand prints all over our white Labrador when I had gone inside to get the phone.

The memories…

they make me laugh and cry.

There are so many of them.

And I know there are more to come.

I know that.

It’s not like her going into middle school means my journey as a mom is over.

Really, in so many ways, it’s just beginning.

Maybe that’s what my emotion is about…

the changing season,

the new phase.

Endings and beginnings.

It’s just that I love her so much.

And with the school year starting in a week, and the fact that I know by now how fast the days, months, and years fly by,

I’m acutely aware of this time,

this moment,

this beautiful end of summer 

with my little girl.



  1. Here I am with tears in my eyes, just thinking about being in your shoes in just a few years. My oldest is my daughter and she just started 2nd grade. My boys are 3 1/2 and almost 2. Each year passes more quickly than the one before and I too am acutely aware of that.I have a post scheduled for tomorrow about this… funny, us moms must all be going through the same emotions right now!Have a blessed week!

  2. Oh you are so right…the years pass so quickly, the seasons change and we must too. With boys who are 25 and 28 I've been through so many seasons with them yet we are on the brink of another as our oldest prepares for the birth of his second daughter in just a couple weeks. New life…new hopes, joys and dreams for another tiny life beginning:) Enjoy the days before school starts!

  3. Now I have tears, too! It's bittersweet, isn't it? Funny…I was just running through my calendar this morning and school was on my mind, as well. Fortunately, we have three weeks (and a day) before school starts. Minnesota doesn't usually start until after Labor Day. But then…oh…I'll be hiding tears, too. Our district starts middle school at 5th Grade so with Parker being in 6th grade this coming year it won't be anything new for him, other than a new grade. But I'll still have tears because I love having him home. Then there's my Faith. Faith had 1/2 day Kindergarten last year and will be starting all day in First Grade this year. ALL DAY. She's so excited about school and misses all her friends. I'm praying that she gets a good teacher and that the all day schedule won't be too hard on her. Sometimes by the end of a 1/2 day she was very tired trying to filter everything she was learning through only one seeing eye. I know her teacher will be selected with care, especially since her Kindergarten teacher has something to say about it. Sending her off on an ALL DAY school year this year will most certainly have me in tears. Probably for more than just one day…because I love having her home, too!Yes, the years pass quickly, but they bring with them a new season, one just as beautiful as the last.Peace and blessings to your day.Jeanine

  4. Oh how well I understand…seems like they grow so fast. At times I can't wait for them to go back to school so I can have a little sanity in my day…then the very next second I wish it were summer all over again, so I could steal away a few more moments of laughter and chaos! LOL.Great post. My kids start school tomorrow so today we are heading to the pool! :)

  5. Now you have me in tears:O)I say no more babies growing up:O) Well some days I say that,lol! Here is a hug from me to you<>

  6. Ok, I was looking forward to school starting, you made me tear up, in a good way.Love the yellow flower post pic!

  7. Well, I was barely holding it together with all of this back to school stuff, and now I'm officially weepy.

  8. I love how your writing can take me to the moment you are feeling. My kids are still young… 2 1/2 and almost 4 so I'm not dealing with all the school stuff yet. But my girl is ALMOST FOUR! We have real conversations. It's crazy. And sometimes it makes me want to cry.

  9. Yes, entering a new season, too. Youngest is a senior in high school this year. Just cleaned out our son's room (who started law school last week) to make it a guest room. These little transitions remind us that, yes, life does change. There is sadness and joy wrapped up in one package; sadness that things are changing, joy that God's plan for life and family keeps plugging along. Good, heart-felt post.

  10. Yes, entering a new season, too. Youngest is a senior in high school this year. Just cleaned out our son's room (who started law school last week) to make it a guest room. These little transitions remind us that, yes, life does change. There is sadness and joy wrapped up in one package; sadness that things are changing, joy that God's plan for life and family keeps plugging along. Good, heart-felt post.

  11. For now, I'm enjoying my little girl's silly ways and wishing time would not speed up . . . because someday, Genny, I'll feel the same way you're feeling…Actually . . . I'm getting a little emotional right now, too… Oh, mothers! :)

  12. This post has me in tears. My son is starting Kindergarten in 3 weeks, and I'm an emotional mess. He's okay. I definitely am not. He's just growing up too fast!

  13. Genny, this is a beautiful post! You're very much in touch with your emotions :) It's sweet you have so many memories of growing up with your daughter. I can't believe school's starting up again either, for us it's in 2 weeks. My youngest is entering kindergarten and it hasn't hit me fully yet – but I know it will. Thanks for your emotionally-rich post – it's prepping me for that day.

  14. Oh yes, what a beautifully written post. I too am facing a change of seasons. My son started kindergarten today…and he was so brave and confident. I'm glad but sad too…my little boy growing up. My daughter starts preschool next week and it's all a little much for me but I'm so proud of them :)

  15. I am right there with you, Genny. Claire and I got through our first day of middle school last week. I was choking back the tears all morning, not wanting to ruin her first day or leave her with the wrong impression. I was truly excited for her, but I was so sad for me. She was excited until I rounded the final turn to the school, then she looked at me and said, "Mommy, I'm scared." It took everything I had not to completely lose it right there. For a moment I thought I couldn't go through with it, but as I pulled up to the curb, she saw friends and her excitement took over. She jumped out of the car, barely looking back and said, "Bye, Mom, have a great day!" As I watched her head up the sidewalk, all I could think was where did all those years go? I really want time to slow down.

  16. The days pass soo quickly at each stage! You reminded me to make MEMORIES so that we have something to look back to with laughter and tears as our kids grow up soo fast!

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