Sometimes I forget summer is my favorite season. 

I forget that during the long winter months, I yearn for these sun-drenched days filled with a packed summer sports schedule and the relentless day-to-day caretaking that parenting often seems to be when the kids are home.

Sometimes I forget summer is my favorite season, when I’m overwhelmed with mounds of wet swim towels, dirty clothes, and dusty baseball uniforms that need to be washed, and I don’t know if I will ever get it all done.

Sometimes I forget summer is my favorite season, when my kids’ relentless appetites keeps the kitchen open 24/7 and I’m constantly serving up meals and doing dishes, always out of groceries and running to the store.

Sometimes I forget summer is my favorite season, because I get lost in the chaos and clutter that summer leaves in its wake and I scurry and scramble to clean it up, somehow trying to find some semblance of order so it doesn’t consume me.

Sometimes I forget summer is my favorite season, when I drown in the details of organizing who needs to be where at what time and for what reason, while the calendar screams its crazy schedule at me day after day. 

Sometimes I forget summer is my favorite season, while I’m in the throes of trying to navigate around each kid’s needs often surrendering the possibility of meeting my own. 

Sometimes I forget summer is my favorite season, when I’m drenched in sweat watching a swim meet or baseball game for hours on end, swatting away gnats or mosquitos, wishing I could be in the comfort of an air-conditioned home.

Sometimes I forget summer is my favorite season, when I spend hours of my time behind the wheel, taking my kids to and from—here and there, multiple times a day, all day, every day.

But then it hits me, in the midst of the madness I realize that THIS. This is IT. This is what I long for during those dark cold winter months. 

THIS is the good stuff. 

It hits me, when I’m drenched in sweat on a hot summer’s night, working the concession stand at a swim meet, serving up a hot dog to a hungry soaked swimmer standing before me smiling, cap and goggles on her head, rings around her chlorine-soaked eyes, excitedly waiting for her poolside meal. 

It hits me, when I am running from a dive meet at one pool to a swim meet at another to then sneak away to watch a few innings of a baseball game, too—and I realize how this frenzied pace is one packed with joy and excitement and the actual living-in-the-moment kind of FUN. 

It hits me, when I stand with other moms at the pool, in transition between pick-ups and drop-offs and we laugh and sigh and commiserate in our exhaustion as we bond over all the time spent together with our kids through these long summer days and even longer summer nights. 

It hits me, every single morning, when I drive my girl to swim practice and I witness the sun emerging from the east, over the outstretched highway, slowly illuminating the most glorious hues, mixing beams of red and orange and yellow, hinting hope for a new day dawning.

It hits me, when I find myself with a rare unexpected quiet evening, sitting outside all alone in my comfy patio chair, listening to the sounds of summer, enjoying the warm evening air, and reflecting on all the reasons why summer is my absolute favorite season.

Summer is when we live in the sweet spot of life. 

My kids’ radiant sun-kissed faces tell it all. Our lives are full of everything we could ever want or need. Our cup? It is truly overflowing. Pouring out from the early dawn drives to the midnight laundry duty . . .

And I’m flooded with gratitude, because really? We are so undeservedly blessed.

THIS is the good stuff. I don’t want to miss it in the overwhelming details of each day. I want to embrace it all, every last bit of it.

One hot, exhausting, sun-filled summer day at a time.

Because before I know it, I’ll be longing for my favorite season to return.

Christine Carter

Chris Carter is a SAHM of two pretty amazing kids. She has been writing at http://themomcafe.com/ for six years, where she hopes to encourage mothers everywhere through her humor, inspiration and faith. You can also find her work on For Every Mom, Blunt Moms, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Mamapedia, Her View From Home, Huffington Post, MomBabble, and Scary Mommy. She is the author of "Help and Hope While You're Healing: A woman's guide toward wellness while recovering from injury, surgery, or illness."