Yup, we’re all alive.
This is the first summer I didn’t have to find programs for my kids, figure out who would watch them or have to pack them up along with toys, books, and games while they sit in my office as I work 6 to 8 hour days. This summer I look back and find that there was so much that we did and very little of it came from what I actually planned on doing. On most days, the plan was to watch movies and cuddle. For my pre teen, she planned days where we’d make YouTube videos and I was the producer. I learned very quickly that my boys plan was to be left alone with their game system and eat bowls upon bowls of cereal. With that, I also learned that breakfast is an appetizer during the summer and “real” breakfast comes minutes later. So meal planning, was MY plan, daily.
Trips to museums and exploring the city were quickly replaced with trips to our living room where I sat many hours wondering how they were SO happy playing with old toys. I was constantly stepping out of the bedroom wondering how my entire living room was full of blocks which became buildings, eventually becoming a city for Barbie, her friends and all their friends, before 9am. My kids all got new hobbies, compliment of the Olympics. Power walking around our complex, running up and down stairs, running (yes, running) laps from our kitchen to couch, followed by flips and rolls. I’ve cleaned more little cheese puff hand prints this summer than in my entire life span! I’ve run to the store so many times that I began knowing the sales associates days off! I sat many days in my room with the door closed because there was no way to escape the chatter, the screams from pillow fights, wrestling matches and the booms and bangs from the very popular dance classes, courtesy of Comcast.
Days turned into weeks of me waking up and deciding to just “go with the flow” and to let my kids have a choice in what their summer looked like. I would lie in bed thinking “Oh Lord, here we go again. No plans. No controlling the day. Ok.” I’d wake up asking myself “How’d I get here?” “Is it too late for a summer program?” Most of the time though, once I got over the initial shock of “Oh, we’re staying in, again,” the day went by perfectly. Kids were happy, so my attitude would change. My “go with the flow” prayers really worked!
So what did I do this summer, while my friends travelled, worked, went to summer school, while they took fabulous vacations? Well, I took hundreds of pictures, occasionally fed my kids “real” meals, went on walks, talked about everything and anything, played games, was an actor and pretend judge on their “Chopped episode. I helped my daughter apply for a scholarship, bonded with my middle child who sometimes I forget needs “Mom time.” I talked to kindergartner about school and assured her she’ll make friends. I read to my toddler so much that he reads along with me! Oh and I sat alone for hours, somedays. (yup, hours!) They were so caught up in hanging out in their room together that they wouldn’t come out.
As summer began to come to a close, I realized that I hadn’t gone insane! I survived weeks upon weeks at home with kids. It was a worry of mine that at least one child would have offered their opinion on if I should go back to work, with my luck, none of that happened! (They like me, they actually like me)
I challenged my self to let go of controlling everything (and everyone) and in return I found joy and peace in mist of chaos. Funny how that worked! My task was making it through summer and I accomplished so much more, I lived and made memories. What’s your task? What’s something that you can challenge yourself to get through, to overcome? I challenge you to overcome it, get through it, to face it, to survive it.
13 For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13