It’s only been a week. I could have sworn she’s been out of school for at least three.”

Cody gave me a look of concern and we discussed ways to make it to August in one functioning family unit.

A lot has changed since last summer. I essentially work 20-30 hours a week, Vivi is mobile yet not quite ready to spend entire days in the pool or at the zoo, and Addie, well Addie is still used to being the center of attention. I’ve looked forward to May 31st for awhile now, knowing that June 1st would bring some new opportunities, fresh perspectives and a little bit more free time.  I’ve loved being busy and I’m so happy I was able to write myself through a bit of an emotional funk last month. Organization has never been my strong suit. I can imagine that if Addie were to ever write an autobiography it would have a chapter wholly dedicated to her mother who was capable of pulling off masterful surprises and spur of the moment adventures, but that planning was certainly not her strong suit.

And it’s not. I’m not a planner and I’m only beginning to figure out how to organize myself. If you were to give me more kids with hectic schedules I’d probably just fall into a weeping heap on the floor. I’m very good at spontaneous, I’ve rarely been good at responsible. However I’ve made it this far in life and I seem to be doing okay. Tomorrow my responsibilities drop by more than 40 articles a month. FORTY. I’ll still have plenty to keep me busy but I suspect the constant lump of “MUST BE WRITING” in my throat will dull to a whispery breeze. I want to spend days at the zoo and in the mist of splash parks. I want to take Vivi to the Children’s Museum and Addie to an outdoor concert. I knew I had to scale back everything I was doing to be present this summer. The past week only proved that I would have never made it out alive had I not learned how to say “too much, no more.

It’s funny how we can so easily forget what life was like before this happened or that ended. I don’t remember what it was like living in a crummy apartment on the Southwest side of Indy. I don’t remember what I did with all my spare time before I had that baby over there and I really don’t remember what I did with myself before I began working so much. Don’t even get me started on what I did when Addie was a baby, I must have been a wildly boring person.

I’ll put on swimsuits this summer and not criticize myself because I’m doing it for them.

I’ll layer and lather and go through sunscreen like we’re visiting the sun for them.

I’ll pack snacks, make lunches to-go and work in potty breaks for them.

I’ll get out of my comfort zone, leave my air conditioning and try something new for them.

I’ll put my phone down (and my camera, let’s be honest) so I can discover new things right along with them.

I’ll make play dates, lunch dates, movie dates and lady dates with each of them.

I will appreciate this summer than I have them, so little yet so grown up. I won’t wish it away or spend it telling them to go away. I’ll do my best to be present, teach them new things and enjoy their smallness while it lasts.

Oudoor WaterBed

(curious about what’s going on here? read here.)

And when I get overwhelmed and end up eating cheeseburgers alone in my car in an abandoned parking lot? I’ll know I’m doing my best, tomorrow is a new day and that they’ll love me no matter how many times I actually take them to the zoo.

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I’m so grateful to partner with Hallmark in 2012 on their “Life is a Special Occasion” campaign again and I thank them tremendously for their patience with me, supporting me in all that I do and for sponsoring this post.

Comments

  1. Very well said – they’ll love us no matter what (and I think planning in advance would drive my kids nuts… they wouldn’t know what to do!)

  2. Oh my yes. It will be good. I think my favorite part of scaling back was not only less writing requirements but less emails. Getting rid of the constant chatter around all that work was healing for me. I hope it is for you, too. Enjoy!

    Steph

  3. Stephanie says:

    I have the opposite problem, I plan too much. I go through the “what if’s” and the “what will we do’s” and stress myself out before we even get started. This summer my entire goal, I suppose you could say my summer bucket list, is to learn to go with the flow. To be spontaneous and to create memories without worry. I just may end up consoling myself with a cheeseburger behind the local McDonalds!!

  4. That sounds like a fabulous summer. I hope you enjoy every single moment. Every splash at the pool, every monkey, every blade of grass!

  5. this is my pledge for the summer too. It’s why I made myself learn the moby wrap (and I LOVE IT) so I could walk zoos and children’s museums and fairs and parks with Eddie and still have the beh beh along for the ride.

  6. Hi. I’m coming over from Kate at Sluiter Nation. So glad I did. Loved this post. It so describes what I want to do with my kids this summer. Just be there and have fun and relax with them. It’s so nice to “meet” you! :)