The Last Summer

I drove my daughter to her final day of 11th grade this morning. She’s planning to get her driver’s license this summer so she said to me, “This is probably the last time you’ll ever drive me to school.”

Sweet Jesus, where has the time gone?!

I get one more summer with her under my roof before she sets off in whatever direction she chooses. I get one more of those lazy, rest-up summers with her before she’s an “adult.” I don’t want to waste it.

I remember summers past when she and her brother were driving me nuts, and I’d be counting the days until Labor Day and school resuming. Now that I know how quickly it all goes, I would do anything to get some of those days back – to savor the trips to the lake, the backyard bubble machine dancing, the lazy mornings with Dora on the TV. I tried to enjoy them as best I could, but there were days (as there always are) that I just wanted school to start already!

This will not be one of those summers.

This will be a summer that I make every effort to be as present as possible for her. This will be a summer that our family trip back “home” to Florida will be bittersweet. It will be her last visit as a child with her grandparents. We will look at colleges and discuss their pros and cons. We will eat ice cream and watch sunsets. We will practice driving. We will watch Big Brother and laugh our asses off. We will live and laugh and love.

And the whole time, I will be silently committing every moment with my precious girl to my heart.  Just like I’ve tried to do from the very beginning.


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