June 19 13

I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and just past the awesome shared videos, photos, and annoying someecards, something caught my eye.

It said

—and I’m paraphrasing here, because through my weepy face it was a little bit hard to make out each and every word and sadly, who had posted it so I can both thank and curse him or her—


18 summers.

18 summers!

18 is nothing. I can count them on my fingers and toes, and still have two left.

How’s that for a little Mama perspective?


The Martells are going to live and love every nook and cranny of our summers from now on.

We do have some pretty amazing things planned for this summer already—in fact, when I look at our calendar for July and August I can barely breathe—it’s chock full of Josh’s baseball games, relatives and friends visiting, sleepover camp, a trip to Virginia and DC, a weekend at Clevelands House—but it’s those little moments, the ones we waste away with “just one second, baby, I just need to answer this work email quickly.”

Oh, like you never.

I want to fill those moments with games and tag and making homemade ice cream and bike rides and girly pedicures and walks to the park and football in the backyard and trips to Wonderland and learning to play tennis and jumps on the trampoline


You know, this email can wait, baby, let’s go do something fun”s.

After all, Miss Emily is already 12, Sir Joshua is already 10, and Lady Isabella is already 7. So many of them are already gone, behind us, signed and sealed away in their memories.

I want them to remember all 18. I want them to remember all the GOOD.

And I certainly want them to remember that last night I was out there bouncing around on the trampoline—living it, loving it—even though my elderly body and inner ear advised against it.




  1. True in a way, but I still travel with my parents every year. We love big family trips. And I lived at home when I went to university, until I went away to college after graduation and lived in D.C. briefly. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is… it’s true but it’s not! And those little moments, that’s what it’s all about! :)


    ali replied on

    Way to pick apart my point there…Heh.

    Uh. What I mean by 18 is that typically the way children work is that at 18, they go away to college or move out, and then they make summer decisions that don’t always include their parents. It’s not typical for you personally, but it is for many, many kids. :)


    Loukia replied on

    I want to buy the homes next to mine for my children, so when they finish school, they can move in close to me. Think they’d go for that? Haha… ;)


    Comment by Loukia on June 19, 2013
  2. Actually, it can be a little less than 18. I’m finding that as they get older they find things to do without you in those summers, and soon you turn around and they are over. We’re on our 17th summer, and I think that this one will be the last that Kev and I are both at home and not working outside the home. I’m lucky but he’s going to be out with friends a lot, so gone are the days of wading in pools at the beach.

    The sentiment is totally correct, though. You only get about 18. And they go a hell of a lot faster than you think.


    ali replied on

    Oof, Karen, my heart.

    They do…fly. So fast.


    Comment by Scatteredmom on June 19, 2013
  3. That’s awesome! I don’t remember a lot of summers. I don’t think we ever did anything fun. We would go up to Door County, WI every summer to visit my Grandma, so I guess that is memorable.

    Clearly any summer you see me is always the best summer! :)


    Comment by Kristabella on June 19, 2013
  4. Wahhhhhhh….I’ll be over here sobbing into my coffee.


    Comment by Nicole on June 19, 2013
  5. Thanks, Ali. How am I supposed to get any work done through all the tears.


    Comment by Tamara on June 19, 2013
  6. I was thinking about this tonight. Both of the kids were tuckered out and more than needing a bath and some quiet time. Then they saw the neighbor kids heading over to the park to watch a baseball game. They begged to go with and instead of ushering them inside I grabbed my sunglasses and off we went. We came home filthy dirty a full hour past bed time but we had a blast and all made new friends. As always your advice is golden :0)


    alimartell replied on

    Yup…and that’s exactly why we all went to watch Josh’s game tonight. The time is running away from us. I just wish we lived in the same place. Imagine…my kids would totally take care of your kids.


    Comment by Jen on June 19, 2013
  7. Seeing that would have made me weepy, too. Time goes too fast, and when put like that – just 18 summers – it really puts it in perspective, doesn’t it?


    Comment by Kim@Co-Pilot Mom on June 20, 2013
  8. When I start to get short with my kids or tell them I need a few more minutes to work I think about how they will move out (potentially) when they are 18 and think to myself “They have now lived with you for more years than they are going to live with you. Take this moment.”

    Perspective – we all need it some days :)


    Comment by Sharon on June 20, 2013
  9. I know it wasn’t meant to, but this post made me cry. Makes me cry. Am crying. Still. Because we’re already into summers 3, 10, and 12 and I want them to remember the good, I do, but I feel like they won’t. And it’s my fault. Stupid having to work and missing it all and no down time and evenings going too quickly and weekends too blurry and the days, the days are what I want to have with them and I can’t because the economy hates me and I can’t figure out how to change that and still be able to have a house and feed them and if I had breasts maybe I’d shake them at night for some side money and that’s probably not a good idea but I’ve thought about it and just…

    I want them to be happy.


    Comment by Arnebya on June 20, 2013

    I do have this summer jam-packed with fun summer-time things, though Kaylie will be gone close to a month. She’s spending three weeks traveling western Canada with my mom, and then a week with her friend in Calgary where she will be flying ALL BY HERSELF.

    Eighteen summers seems so few.


    Comment by Jen Wilson on June 20, 2013
  11. Whoa…18?
    Holy shat.
    I will admit that I do that too. I so do. Having this freedom when he was in school was awesome but now I have to slow down.
    It’ll be hard.
    Thanks for putting that into perspective.
    18 eh?!


    Comment by Kimberly on June 21, 2013
  12. Probably not quite 18 summers, let’s not forget PUBERTY! LOL!


    Comment by skroll63 on June 26, 2013
  13. [...] was a recent blog post by Ali over at Cheaper than Therapy. We only have 18 summers with them. We’re working through our third/fourth summer. Maybe [...]

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  14. […] a perfect opportunity to think about the year ahead. This summer was awesome. After realizing that I only get 18 of ‘em with these little muffins of mine, I really tried to make different decisions, to pay more attention, to BE there more. And I was. We […]

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