18 Summers- July 15th, 2016 – Elaina Portugal

 

IMG_20141025_16031284518 Summers-Elaina Portugal

July 15, 2016

Dear Reader,

Eighteen Summers.

That’s all we get.

If we’re lucky.

Eighteen summers to mold them into caring, compassionate, strong human beings.

Eighteen summers to teach them how to be confident, independent, and self-assured.

Eighteen summers to provide them with opportunities to learn; about themselves, about life, about others, and what it means to be human.

Eighteen summers to hike, to kayak, to read, and take road trips, and to help them find creative ways to entertain themselves when they’re bored.IMG_20140813_104847699_HDR

Eighteen summers.

How is that enough time to teach them to love others even when they’re different from you and you don’t understand their choices?

How is that enough time to show them how to be self-disciplined, authentic, and hard-working?

How is that enough time to help them see that actions are separate from people and we can love the person, but not the behavior?

Is that enough time to give them the strength to walk away from things that aren’t healthy, or safe, or nurturing?

Eighteen summers.

That’s all we get until they’re “ready” to fly out into the world. College, jobs, families, mistakes, achievements, struggles, life.IMG_20150508_110634177

That’s all we get, if we’re lucky, to show them how much we love them. To put them first, ahead of ourselves, and model delayed gratification, and what it means to love unconditionally.

It’s eighteen summers of blessings.

Eighteen summers of worry and frustration.

Eighteen summers of love that we hope will sustain them as they traverse the landscape of life.

Can they cook, do laundry, and play well with others?IMG_20151010_143159552_HDR

Do they take responsibility when they need to and set boundaries when they don’t?

Do they understand that choices have consequences? Can they come back from disappointment and strive even harder to reach their goals?

Do they willingly help others?

Eighteen summers, that’s all we get, if we’re lucky. Eighteen summers until they’re adults, their own person, facing the world on their own two feet, with conviction of character and hopefully some awareness of self.

IMG_20140704_225456865IMG_20140704_231306719It’s over in the blink of an eye.

It’s the future.

They are the future.

Did we prepare them for it?

Eighteen summers.

That’s all we get.

If we’re lucky.

IMG_20151224_115712024_HDR

 

 

 

Elaina

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