Reflecting A Bit On Summer
Summer has historically created a bit of panic for me in this mothering season. The season change is slightly awkward when you don’t have school aged children. Essentially you feel like things should be different, but they are not. You maybe buy a small plastic pool to put in your back yard and the invention of water tables hit the market when my first little dude was about two years old, so we had a hose and a water table and a plastic pool and that was our summer. I was still bored and exhausted all at the same time. Phil’s travel picked up in the summer time, taking him to fairs and festivals and random places in the country while I tried to embrace bbq’s, birthday parties, and holidays without him. Mostly I was chasing a toddler at get togethers, making brief eye contact with the other attendees, wondering if anyone saw more than what I saw in myself, a one-dimensional mom character. I think those early days of no schedule, ever, made me crazy. Being in charge of the seeming nothingness except keeping my babies/toddlers alive and my own brain from swallowing itself was a bit more than I could handle.
Gradually, gradually we’re moving on. Now I’ve got an 8 year old, 5 year old, and 2 year old to tote around, but the break from the glorious school schedule is a little more welcome than it has been before. The mornings are actually slower with our crew sleeping longer and the bustle of uniforms, lunches, and special projects have been halted. There are doable, budget friendly activities we can do and ALL have fun. We did take a trip to the pool last week and my two year old pooped in her swim diaper, but did not tell me, and we were THOSE people at the pool, and I wanted to curse and apologize and curse again to the whole world. But those experiences seem to be shrinking.
We met up with some friends whose youngest son is the same age as my oldest son. In our time together she said, “Man, I just live for the summers!” to which I quickly asked, “But have you always felt like that?” with a twinge of guilt in my voice. She said, “Heaven’s no. They used to be lonely and boring and hard, but not so much anymore.” And I breathed deep. The seasons with kids are revolving doors. They are coming and going and we’re so deeply steeped in it all that it’s hard to see the shifts. But I’m finding God’s faithfulness to my heart and all that he has to share with me affect me differently in each season. Things are hard, things let up, we miss certain things, we praise the passing of others, we live. I’ve not enjoyed this haphazard pattern of life with small kids MANY times, but I’m seeing a little differently now. As I’ve grown along side my babies, I’m realizing we’re all beautifully meshed together, our stories separate but closely intertwined. The mishaps and the bodily functions (that us mama’s get a front row seat to witness and handle every damn day) are building a sturdy foundation. I’m excited for fun summers a head, not a given, but a hope. So much to hope for these days.