Welcome to 5summers!

img_20160806_132653I’m Anne. You might know me from carfreedays.com, a blog my husband, Tim and I started in 2007 to chronicle our family adventures using bikes as transportation. After almost 10 years, I’ve decided to step back from Carfreedays. Sure we’ll keep the archives up, but we probably won’t update it much anymore.

I’m ready for a new project. The theme of this project is time.

Lately I’ve been thinking (a lot) about time. Actually, time has been on my mind since I became a parent. For the past 16 years, my parenting mantra has been : Time ticks away, we can’t get it back. Cherish it. When my daughter was born, a friend, while marveling at my beautiful baby, told me that a quarter of my life would be spent raising kids. As I cradled and rocked, fed and diapered that precious infant, 20 years seemed so daunting. Would I really spend 20 years of my life raising this tiny hopeless being? But now that more than 3/4 of that time has passed, 20 years seems like nothing at all. It really does go by in the blink of an eye. Keep your eyes wide open, Anne!

I’ve been thinking about this project for a few years. As my kids entered their teen years, I quickly realized my little nuclear family has a brief amount to time left. Sure, in the grand scheme, we have decades together, (hopefully) but we won’t always live together. The kids already want to spend more time with friends than Tim and me. And that’s the way it should be. Soon, other characters will join the family fold. Roommates and/or boyfriends/girlfriends will enter the picture, filling our house and lives with new perspectives, stories, and traditions. When that happens, our family dynamics will shift. I’ll welcome that change and those new people into my life. But I’ll also cherish the next handful of years the four of us will spend living under the same roof; cooking in the same kitchen, and eating family dinners around the same cramped dining room table.

Speaking of finite time, lets talk about summers. Summer time is precious for us Pacific North-westerners. When it’s cloudy and rainy 9 months out of the year, those 3 months of long and warm summer days are sacred. What summer experiences do we want as a family? How many more family camping trips will we take? How many more hikes? Bike tours? Family Nexflix binge sessions? Skagit River beach days? How many more long and boring road trips can we handle??? And how about Winter? How many more ski trips, chairlift rides, and snowball fights? And What about igloos?

Obviously, I’m not only going to write about Summer. Winter, Spring and Fall are important too. But Summer does hold a special place in our Pacific Northwestern hearts. Since my youngest will start high school next fall, 2017 seems like a good year to start chronicling our last 5 years together.

My kids are no longer helpless. They’re bright, capable, curious, independent humans. They’re spreading their wings and preparing to fly, planning for their futures, separate from mine. It’s beautiful to watch. I love listening to their hopes and dreams, and also their worries and fears. I know I will always be their mom, but my role as a parent is constantly evolving along with my kids.

If the last 16 years has taught me anything, it’s that life can be unpredictable. We can dream and hope, and plan for the future, but sometimes life takes unexpected twists and turns. We really don’t know what the future holds.

Hence, I don’t know what this blog will be about. I do know it will center around time, ticking away, leaving memories behind. Some happy, some sad, some to be cherished, others not.

Dear G and P,

This online journal is for you. Hopefully it won’t be embarrassing. I promise to keep the really cringe-worthy family memories private. But I do promise to chronicle some highlights of our last 5 years before you both graduate from high school and move on to college. I hope you will read it and cherish it someday.

I don’t know what these next 5 years will be all about, but I can’t wait to find out!

xoxo, mom

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