For most parents, coming home to find sneakers tossed outside of your front door is nothing strange. You know that […]
For most parents, coming home to find sneakers tossed outside of your front door is nothing strange. You know that your kids are inside, hanging out with their friends. But that pile of shoes means more than a house full of kids: It symbolizes all the memories that have been created. And one day, the heap will disappear from your porch.
When mom Heather Duckworth came home one day to find that pile of shoes, she realized it would be the last summer she’ll spend with her oldest sons before they start college.
The Love, Faith & Chaos mom blogger wrote a heartfelt Facebook post on June 20 about seeing a pile of shoes outside her door and all that it represents.
The mom — who has an 11-year old daughter, 18-year-old twin sons, and a 20-year-old son — begins:
“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.”
THE 18th SUMMERI came home the other day after a long afternoon of running errands and this is what my front porch…
When she returned from errands and saw the shoes recently, it brought on a wave of sadness because she realized that things were changing. She has looked at the pile of shoes for four years, and associates so many memories with them, but most of the kids who wear the shoes have just graduated from high school and she realizes that time is precious in her 18th summer with her sons.
“I know that after this summer, things will never be the same again. This is a bittersweet part of parenthood . . . this transition from having them home to watching them leave. My head knows this is a good thing, but my heart… it just hurts.”
Duckworth continues that she knows seeing the shoes in the house means that the kids are safe, but soon all the shoes with be “scattered across college campuses” and she knows “all of these shoes might not find their way back home next summer as life takes them on new adventures.”
“So I am going to treasure this summer of the shoes . . . Because I know that all too soon those shoes will be running off exploring the world . . . and my porch will be empty.”
Duckworth’s Facebook message quickly went viral, racking up more than 60,000 likes and over 100,000 shares so far. Facebook users also flooded her post with comments.
One commenter wrote: “That’s is so true. As I was reading this it reminded so much of the days when my kids were all home. They are all grown and gone now. Time passes so fast. Enjoy every moment you have with your kids.”
After the post went viral, Duckworth wrote a follow-up post on June 27. In it she admits she felt a bit overwhelmed at the response, but she was touched by the comments and how the story resonated with so many.
ALL ABOUT THOSE SHOESOne week ago today I posted a story about my boys’ 18th summer and feeling sentimental about all…
“I have loved the stories and pictures that you have shared of shoes on your porches and appreciated every virtual hug. This stage of life is bittersweet for sure,” she writes. “[I’m] so happy for our children and so proud of them, yet so sad for us when they spread those wings and leave the nest.”
“But what a gift you all have given me in knowing that I am not alone in feeling this way. Motherhood is hard, but we are all in this together! It takes a village.”