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Why This 18th Summer Has Me Feeling Sentimental

Me, my baby girl and my favorite Lunchbox Love Note.

Applying Mindfulness To This Year With My College Bound Senior

Years ago, one of my best friends Lisa said to me that we get 18 summers with our kids. It was a conversation we were having about whether or not we should send our kids away to sleep-away camp. At the time, 18 summers seemed like a long time.  But having just had my 18th summer with my youngest has me feeling overwhelmed with emotion.


How did this happen so fast? Where did the time go and how can I make this year slow down? I like to think that I was pretty mindful and present  with both my kids, but let’s face it, when you’re running a business, trying to get three meals on the table plus snacks (LOL), racing to after school programs and sports, making time for yourself and your spouse, maybe caring for aging or sick parents, helping with homework and did I mention keeping the house tidy, it can be easy to lose the present moment.


It’s in the present moment that we live fully. Jon Kabat-Zinn says it’s the ONLY moment that we are fully alive in. If we worry too much about the future we will feel anxious and if we are too nostalgic and live in the past it can trigger sadness and poof, just like that we missed another moment. So paying attention to and being in the moment with whatever is, which is mindfulness – this is our most important job.


With this year being Daisy’s last year of HS and college looming large, I want each moment to be filled with gratitude and love for this child.  I am going to be thankful for the dishes in the sink, the lacrosse uniform and cleats strewn across the entryway of our home. Thankful for the long, tiring nights waiting for her to come home from her friends houses or parties on the weekends. I will even try to be thankful for the snarkiness that comes with the teenage years.  I’m going to love the mayhem of friends and sleepovers. I am going to treasure every moment because in just a short while she’ll be off to college and I’ll be missing the day to day chaos of motherhood.


For young parents out there my advice is to have as much fun as you can and lean into even the difficult moments. Time goes by quickly and these are going to be the things that you look back on and make you smile.


Thank you for listening <3.


Judi Willard is a Psychotherapist, Meditation and Mindfulness Teacher, and  CEO of Say Please Inc./creator of Lunchbox Love for Kids notes.


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