I'm not a parent but I have a few little cousins who I can't believe are growing like weeds. You realize that your kids grow up so fast but this mother put into perspective just how fast it really is.

I started seeing this post trending on Facebook earlier and covered again by Sunny Skyz, this week by friends of mine who are also parents. You hear the phrase that you'll blink and before you know it, your kids are grown up but this mother really put it in perspective.

She posted a picture on her Facebook page of a bunch of shoes outside of her door from her 18-year-old son and his friends. She talked about them saying:

These shoes are a sure sign that it is summer and school is out.... It means there are probably kids lounging on my sofa, floating in my pool, playing air hockey or watching a movie somewhere. These shoes mean that we are the designated hang-out house today.

She goes on to talk about that's when she realized just how fast childhood goes by. She realized that this summer is her 18th summer with her kid, saying:

They say you only have 18 summers with your kids. I am on number 18 with mine. This realization tugs at my heart and makes me wonder how 18 summers went by so quickly.

You only have 18 summers with your children until they're off in college and then moving somewhere on their own. After your 18th summer, they're not the same anymore. Their friends aren't all around here anymore, the shoes aren't on your doorstep like you remember, and you can't secure their safety like you used to. She said:

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.

It's quite a beautifully written realization and if you're a parent of any child, it's a great thing to realize. You have 18 summers with your children, how are you spending them?