June 8, 2016
Okay moms, raise your hand if you go into the summer with plans and organizers to conquer the season. You know what I mean. You’ve mapped out your daily tasks and assigned each kid a list of chores to keep the house tidy and ready them to be responsible adults. You have pinterest boards dedicated to summer boredom busters and an equal number of ideas to keeping those kids’ math and reading skills sharp. A few summers ago, we had a chart for a weekly memory verse, recipe, and outing. We made it about 2 and a half weeks. And then there was last summer with my “Fruits of the Spirit” lesson plans that never came to be.
Honestly, I’m facing this summer with no ideas. No plans. No organization. Insane, I know. But we are three days deep into summer break and the boys and I are knocking this thing out of the park with our achievements and level of productivity.
To begin with, no one, I mean no one has gone to bed at an appropriate time. The whole family wins a prize for staying up too late. Hubby’s statement of, “Well, it is summer,” has been met with my reply of “I’m into my 15th hour today of summerness with these people.” At least one child understands the whole concept of sleeping in.
Next, the food situation. They all are expecting at least three meals a day, occasional snacks, and to top it off, some sort of dessert. All of this eating has pushed my creativity to new limits because we’re out of nearly everything. Going to the grocery store with three kids? Um, no thanks. Let the eat-what’s-been-hiding-at-the-back-of-the-freezer challenge continue. I even inadvertently baked my first soufflé the other night. Eggs, cream, the last of the cheese, 350 degrees, and you have dinner. Culinary success.
The boys have even been helping in the kitchen. They have managed to turn almost all of the liquids from the fridge into a popsicle or an ice cube. Lemonade ice cube for your tea? Yep, we have those. Giant freezy pop made from cranberry ginger ale? Sure, got those too. Never mind the trail of stickiness that winds from the fridge to the counter to the sink. We are refreshed.
While they aren’t busy freezing things, they are planning and goal-setting. For example, the other night, they all browsed the internet to choose which kind of Lamborghini they are going to buy. Goals, people, goals. They’ve developed charts and graphs to monitor the NBA finals. They’ve conducted contests, such as who can push everyone else off their bean bags.
As if all of these activities weren’t enough to keep us on our toes, we may have acquired a pet. A cat has decided to take up residence in the back yard. And my I-don’t-touch-animals, pick-me-up-immediately-if-one-comes-into-my-presence child has fallen in love! So now, “The Cat” tops our to-do list. And we are checking off lots of productivity boxes with her. First thing in the morning, we must find the cat. Is she in the barn? Is she in the tree? Is she on the playground? Next, we have to feed the cat. Pour her milk. Scramble some eggs. Get the leftover fish from the fridge. Shake the cat food bag. And then there’s the comforting and entertaining. Make the cat a bed. Gather materials to design a toy. But mostly, there’s the watching. “Mommy, come outside while I play with Maddie.” (Yes, we named the cat.)
So I sit and watch them watch her.
And the laughs happen. And the talks commence. And the memories form.
No planning or organizing needed.
Yes, I raise my right hand and do promise to read to my kids this summer. We will practice math problems and other educational stuff. Our emphasis on spiritual growth goes beyond my uttered prayers of “Lord, help me with these children.” We may even open a page or two from other summer’s plans and get organized about some things.
But in the meantime, we may just be out in the back yard watching Maddie and eating our homemade popsicles. This feels a lot like freedom. A lot like childhood.
After all, it is summer.
What's ahead for your summer? Any exciting plans? Share with the rest of us....we could all use a little inspiration!