Teacher workdays start tomorrow and, just like that, summer is over for me.
I feel like I've failed this summer in lots of ways. There were so many things I wanted to do, especially with Aniston, that I just haven't had the energy for. This pregnancy has been so much harder on me. (Physically speaking. Emotionally, it has been a hundred times better.) I had planned to make this last just-the-two-of-us summer so special and fun...and it just didn't happen.
We didn't visit the library for story time. We didn't go to the splash pad. We didn't go to the movies. We didn't do much shopping. We haven't played outside as much as she wanted to. For the first time in her little life, we didn't even go on a vacation this year. Between my doctor appointments, B's work schedule, and him being part of the worship team at church, there just wasn't a good time to go. (Not to mention the fact that I couldn't even imagine lugging all the beach necessities and a four year old through the sand to sit in the sun all day right now.)
Even though, logically, I know that it's okay, I still feel like I've failed her. Next summer will be different. It won't just be me and her during the day anymore. Harper will be here, and as wonderful as that will be, it will be different. That's such a hard thing for me to wrap my mind around at this point. Maybe it's because she isn't here yet and I don't know how our family dynamics will change. Maybe it's because I fear the unknown. Maybe I'm afraid Aniston will feel slighted, less special, less loved.
Maybe it's pregnancy hormones and I need to get a grip.
This morning, as all these thoughts were running through my mind, I took time to snuggle with her as she started to wake. I told her what a treasure she is. I told her how precious she is to me. I told her that just like God had made every star in the sky, He had also made her, and she is beautiful and perfect and a thousand other things that I can't even put into words. On this last day of our last just-the-two-of-us summer, I breathed her in and marveled at the wonder she is.
And then I asked a question. A simple question, but one I was afraid to hear the answer to, one I had already cried over.
Did you have a good summer? Her answer was a quick yes with a smile.
Curious, I followed with another.
What was your favorite part? Without any hesitation at all, she answered, "You, Mommy. My favorite part was you."
Maybe I didn't fail after all.