18 Summers? Nonsense.

Not that it feels like summer to be honest but as the rain falls during slightly warmer days I see parents online urging those with young children to make the most of the school holidays. After all, you only get 18 summers with your offspring they bleat.

I only have one child left aged under 18 yet still although many of my birds have flown the nest I continue to enjoy summers and indeed springs, autumns and winters with my brood. 18 summers my a*se!

In fact in a couple of weeks a gang of us are heading for a week's holiday overseas. We've booked two apartments for six of us aged 15, 19, 23, 24, 55 and 61. And we've all paid our own way so I know they are not spending time with us because we are paying for their holiday. In fact in recent years they've paid to take us on their holidays. The pic below was with my 23-year-old at Oktoberfest in Germany.

I'm also currently trying to co-ordinate a camping trip with my 30-year-old and his partner and toddler and a trip to Cyprus with my 28-year-old son and his partner.

We do have trips without them, and they without us but I can't imagine that unless you have some deep trauma or a giant geographical distance between you, you wouldn't spend time every year making memories with your adult children.

Of course children usually leave the nest (for a while at least) as they should, and you do have to give them space and independence. That's maybe the hardest bit of parenting - taking off the metaphorical training wheels and letting go while they wobble off into their own future. But just as we used to pick them up after a cycle tumble and clean their scraped knees, we will always be right there ready to help in anyway we can long after they leave their teen years. 

Having said that, if you are currently surviving parenthood and dreading the looooong summer holidays I will say do try to take time to take photos and videos and really be present. I know, you are exhausted and don't really want yet another picnic in the splash park/model railway/back garden but you will look back on those days with the fondness the passage of time allows. You'll forget the wasps and the tantrums and the potty training, I promise.

The difference between the baby/toddler/child rearing days and the future is that you might find roles are reversed with your children organising the days out, the picnics and the holidays. And if you are lucky you get to treasure time with grandchildren - little copies of your own children- for many summers to come.