About half way through summer vacation every year I begin to crave the schedule and the normalcy that the school year brings. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the carefree days of summer I do. It’s just that I run out of things to do with all those footloose and fancy free days, and look forward to the ease of a scheduled daily routine. At least I think I do at the time.

I somehow seem to forget just how hectic the school year regiment really is. My schedule is so full now that it is bursting at the seams. We are running nonstop seven days a week. There are no leisurely evenings to just lay around and relax in the sun. Instead, we are running from one practice to another five nights a week, plus homework. There are also no weekends full of hikes or bike rides on our favorite trails followed by family picnics. The weekends are full of double-header soccer games and football games.

I’m not saying I don’t enjoy this, because I do. I enjoy watching my kids growing up and being successful, or just seeing them learn something new. However, the fast pace of it all makes the time go by too quickly. I feel like I blink and poof my boys are another year older. I wish I could stop time or rewind it.

I’m guessing most parents feel this way. It seems every parent I’ve talked to whose kids are grown tell me to enjoy now, because the time goes by too fast. When they say this they always seem to have a tear in their eye like they are thinking of a bitter sweet memory from the days when their kids were young.

I guess the best thing to do is just enjoy all of it. Whether it’s the lazy and carefree days of summer vacation, or the busy rat race of the school year, try to savor it all. Take the time to revel in the now. Try to make every day count. Even if all you have is just a quick family dinner together, or a few words together when you’re tucking them in at night, savor it because it goes by too quickly.

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of the University of Montana, animal lover and writer.