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The Mother Not Ready for Summer

June 16, 2014

Written by Marykate O’Malley, mother of three wonderful children, Gladwyne PA 


I found myself saving my oldest daughter’s math worksheet this morning thinking – I didn’t save enough of her work this year. When they were preschoolers I saved everything. Day after day crafts came home which I greedily put away “the king was in his counting house, counting all his money”.  Now it is math worksheets.

Like the outgrown t shirts I can’t bear to give away, the ones with a stain, and worn logo on the front from love and constant wear. Folded into neat piles in a crate in the basement stacked like little velveteen rabbits. The very shirts I would hide in the back of drawers hoping they wouldn’t be discovered, only to find them trotting down the stairs to greet me in the morning. T shirts and math worksheets. A mother who can’t let go.

I can’t let go of a fourth grader on the cusp of her final grade of elementary school. I can’t get go of childhood and children who still play imaginary games and collect rocks and are mesmerized by the stillness of a praying mantis or a cloud tracing its way across an evening sky. These are the ying and yang years. The years where children are like yo yo’s – a bit out in the world, then back home, out and back. I know what is next.

As a mother you are constantly redefining yourself and changing your mold based on the growing needs of your child. Now we have discussions, family meetings, bike rides. We talk about good habits, and friendship, and life.

Summer can wait. Melting Popsicles, and sandy toes, BBQ’s and fishing poles will have their time. For now I will gladly take a math worksheet and a faded t shirt. And cherish every one.



Photograph courtesy of Rachel McGinn photography

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1 Comment »

  1. Joanne

      on June 17, 2014 7:30 am

    Yes! This is so poignant and true… And you express it so beautifully!! Time flies and yes, cherish every moment! Love, Joanne


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