My children are 15, 12 and 8. The older two go to sleep away camp, so for the past few summers, it has been my baby and me. Next summer she will be 9. Next summer she will want to join her sister and brother at sleep away camp.
So, this is my last summer with my baby. It feels like only yesterday that we were moving her out of her cot bed and buying her a “big girl bed” (top tip: MyFDB has a great options to choose from). But now, all of a sudden, she is 8 years old and growing up into a beautiful, caring and independent girl.
It is hard to imagine next summer alone. Not alone, but it will be the first time in a long time that I will be with my husband alone. I am really looking forward to our time together, as if we are boyfriend and girlfriend again with no cares in the world, but I also know that I will have an emptiness to prepare for too. I suppose it would be the perfect time to get some jobs done that we’ve been telling ourselves we will find time for and just never have. I know that the first thing I’ll be doing is getting my hands on some deck wash and getting our backyard back to how I like it. I think we will spend the time trying to keep busy, not even relaxing, to just try and pass the time when we miss the children.
This summer, I took my baby everywhere. It was the summer of Syd (as I called it). Our adventures took us to 11 different towns. We were everywhere from Upstate New York, to Long Island, to the Caribbean, to the Midwest, to California and ending the summer in the Rocky Mountains.
When you are traveling with a young one you look for hotels that are family friendly. Little extras go a long way when traveling with children. While in California, we had the opportunity to stay at The San Diego Marriot Marquis. They have several connecting swimming pools that cater to children that allowed me to also relax while watching my Syd play. They offer a fabulous kids menu at every meal and upon arrival we were greeted with enough snacks to last us a week. Snacks are essential to your day when you are a Mom. I must say, afterward, I honestly thought about moving to California, it is stunning and there is so much up and down the state that can be done. My friends did just that when they checked out that ‘sell your house for cash in Orange County‘ from getfairhomeoffers.com, they didn’t have to move too far, but it was the best decision they made. It’s getting me tempted!
The San Diego Marquis was also located right downtown on the waterfront. This area of San Diego offered us biking along the waterfront on the boardwalk and we were near all the major attractions that San Diego offers.
We also had our Midwest adventures this summer too. We took a mini Midwest road trip along I-70 from St. Louis to Kansas City, ending up at Crown Center. I grew up in the Midwest and I had not been back to Kansas City for over 30 years. The Crown Center is in the heart of downtown and connected to everything! We stayed at The Westin, which is attached to the Crown Center and we were greeted with little camping tents in the room for the kids. They loved this! I almost thought I should have bought an electric cool box along so they could have really gotten into the camping spirit. But I’m sure that my daughter will get plenty into the spirit when she gets to go to camp for real next year. We visited the SEA LIFE Aquarium, Legoland Discovery Center and enjoyed evening swims in the heated pool. I had no idea that Kansas City and The Crown Center had so much to offer for families.
I knew as I watched my daughter explore with me this summer and as we traveled around together for work and play that this would be our last summer as a duo. I think she felt it too as she talked about how she can’t wait for camp next summer. With every ounce of exhaustion I would remind myself that this was the last summer alone. It’s an interesting mental dance we do as Moms. On the one hand you crave time alone, but in those moments, you feel a ping knowing that your children want you once, and you remind yourself of that. They call you Mommy for a short period of time, then that becomes Mom and you don’t remember when that happened. They want you and all of you and then one day they want their friends. So I remind myself all the time to savor these years and to live in the moment.