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"Best summer ever" by Elizabeth Estrada (CatholicMom.com) Via Pixabay (2014), CC0 Public Domain[/caption] I remember a wonderful summer trip I took to Europe in 2005. It was wonderful to visit museums and eat wonderful food. I saw places I had only seen in books. This trip was unforgettable. This summer, however, tops that one in a big way. I didn't go to Europe this summer but I did spend a peaceful, fun-packed summer with my eleven-year-old son. It was the first summer in about three years or more where we laughed until our stomachs hurt and had many great moments in the ordinary. It was a summer of making memories. We went to our local used bookstore chain and visited all of them in our city. Yes, we are book nerds. We would talk on those drives in the car or listen to stories, or my son would be the DJ and would pick some of our favorite tunes to sing along to or dance to. I must admit I got a little carried away. I cherished every single moment. To see my son laugh, smile, and be silly was great. I hadn't seen that side of him in a long time. He has been battling anxiety and depression for about three years now, and this summer I saw him breaking through the darkness. He is growing into the young boy he wants to be and who God created him to be. I actually see the twinkle in his eyes again. I am a teacher, and this summer as I went back to work, I felt rested, refreshed, and at peace. I know that this is due to the grace God is giving my son and myself to know that he is present and is leading us back into the light of who he created us to be and reminding us that he also carried us through the darkness. So years from now, when I am looking back on summers, this will be the best ever, a God-given gift.