A Florida mom’s bittersweet Facebook post is going viral for perfectly summing up what it feels like to have a house full of teens during summer break.
Along with a photo of her front porch covered in a pile of shoes leading to the front door, the mom of five shared the varying emotions parents face when their kids are going off to college.
“I came home the other day after a long afternoon of running errands and this is what my front porch looked like,” she began her post, titled The 18th Summer. “These shoes mean that I have a house full of kids . . . mostly teenagers. These shoes are a sure sign that it is summer and school is out. These shoes mean there is probably no food left in my house. These shoes mean noise and chaos and laughter and music.”
She continued that she paused outside her front door and “felt a wave of sadness wash over” her as she realized all the years these kids have had together and how they’ll be going their separate ways.
“They say you only have 18 summers with your kids,” she added. “I am on number 18 with mine. This realization tugs at my heart and makes me wonder how 18 summers went by so quickly.”
She concluded: “I love having these shoes all over my porch because it means that my children are home. It means that I know where they are and who they are with and that they are all safe. I am very aware that these shoes won’t be here much longer. All too soon these shoes will be scattered across different college campuses and they will be taking their first steps of independence. And I know that all of these shoes might not find their way back home next summer as life takes them on new adventures.”
The post soon went viral and the mom, whose name is Heather Duckworth, told ABC News that she’s glad it resonated with other parents going through the same life transition.
"It just blows my mind, but apparently a lot of other mamas are feeling this way," she told Good Morning America of her post. “… It's all good and it's all part of life."
Click here to read her post in full.