Where on earth has Sweet Basal gone this summer? I’m still here I promise!!
Thank you to all of you who have reached out to me in the last two weeks. Not sure if you were operating under a team approach but, it was a welcome reminder that this blog is reaching real people and that was exactly why I originally started it and that is why I am going to do my best to get back to it.
This summer has been a busy one. My job as a Hotel Market Researcher picked up exactly as the school year ended. Timing is everything. That said, the four hours when my girls were at summer school were spent getting my work done so I could take the girls on adventures in the afternoon.
Bringing The Focus Back
Despite working more, I have comfortably settled into the summer lifestyle. However, this summer feels a bit different. This summer, more than any other has been about making a conscience effort to be wholly focused on the moment and the four wonderful lives living under my roof.
In the past I found myself putting endless pressure on myself to finish a list of summer to do’s and must see’s with the kids and felt the heavy weight of mom guilt when I realized all the things I never squeezed in.
Leading up to the end of the school year I found myself in the online world more than I perhaps care to admit. Don’t get me wrong I need my phone but I don’t need to be comparing my day with the pictures of others or feeling my mood change after reading a post, seeing a new medical scare, or missing out on a half hour of sleep because I just had to keep “scrolling”.
I do, however, need to take that energy and focus it on the people who are immediately in front of me. I need to be lost in the “right now” in order to be an example to my girls that in a boundless and overwhelming society it is ok to take life one moment at a time.
Tough lesson to learn but I am training myself to be ok with sitting and being still. That’s right, it is OK for your body and your brain to sit down…unfathomable.
Odd to hear from someone who writes a blog huh? Like I said I’m still online still but it is a matter of balance.
Things I Have Learned This Summer…
In the midst of all this serious soul searching I have learned many light hearted lessons and they have made this summer one of the very best so far. (It is NOT over. Don’t let Hobby Lobby and their Christmas decorations tell you otherwise…Grrrrr)
1. To start with, it is perfectly acceptable to have a growing collection of super amazing dead bugs on your kitchen counter (no matter what my husband says).
2. When you go to pick strawberries always assume that you will pick more than you planned on. Then go home and realize you had no trouble eating more than you planned on.
3. There is an incredible observation deck at the base of the Capitol rotunda in Madison. Just keep climbing stairs until you find it. It is worth the trip, I promise.
4. A hot fourth of July is a very, very good Fourth of July. A hot Fourth of July Parade…not as good. Still, if you have a little twirler in her first parade on the Competition Baton Team you love every minute of it.
5. Library reading coupons do not have the power to send you on a guilt trip. Every year we get all these coupons from the reading program to go to numerous places and every year I find the coupons in December and realize they expire in a week. This year I have taken the power back. I snagged a few very selective “activity”coupons and gently nudged the girls to stick mostly to the food coupons. This has allowed me to grab the girls a few quick lunches when we were pressed for time and avoided the inevitable December gut punch as I throw out expired coupons.
6. All the words to the first song of Hamilton (my daughters’ current Broadway obsession). I also learned that my daughter Ellie can memorize and say words far faster than me. This is an achievement that she loves to remind me of on a regular basis.
7. Beach days with buddies are a must, and have greatly improved now that my kids are fairly strong swimmers and no longer need mom in the water with them at all times. I have become at one with my lawn chair
8. It is possible to be too full to finish your frozen custard. A recent trip to Michael’s Frozen Custard proved this to be true. We were stuffed but in a very good way.
9. You will make more money offering “free” lemonade than you ever will trying to charge for it. Of course it also helps to have two sweet little girls screaming “FREE LEMONADE” as you approach the house. (it also doesn’t hurt to have a life size horse skeleton named Hamilton holding your sign. Long story for another post…)
10. When you randomly decide to ride your bikes from the park to the dentist you should not trust your internal map system to determine the distance from point A to point B. My kids have never been so happy to get to the dentist…and then we had to ride back. We are placing this one on the list of summer achievements as well as the list of things the girls will never let mom do again.
Nothing Is Perfect
Every day since school got out has most certainly not been like a picture out of a magazine. I found myself with two sick kids during the hottest week of the summer. Instead of swimming we were watching endless hours of YouTube until I felt like their brains had melted into the couch.
There was also our routine, mad-dash scramble to get out the door on time for summer school, usually resulting in being late anyways. Throw in the two long-term power outages which occurred less than a week apart from each other and you have a party waiting to happen.
Summer is not about perfection. It is about holding tight to every minute out of this short wonderful season. The only way to truly do this is to be present. Sometimes this means amazing adventures and sometimes it means spending the whole day on your back patio.
I will leave you with this. One warm night Maisy came up to me and said “Mama, after I put my pj’s on I’m going to go outside and catch a firefly.” She got her nightgown on and out the door she went. I watched her jumping and running in the warm moonlight until she finally came to the door to show us her little lighted friend in her hands.
Summer is made for moments like this and I am filled with gratitude that my summer has been overflowing with moments like these. Put your Halloween decorations and Christmas ornaments away. We have more of this glorious season ahead of us and you’re not going to want to miss a minute of it.