I started this series to help myself get a focus before the demands of summer unwind their sabotaging tentacles.
Check. I think I’ll be in a different gear to make use of those few hours I take for myself each day.
I’ve neglected, however, to do that for the kids. Many mothers have everything summer-related done by the end of February. I generally skid in toward end of April. This year — hah! — I’m trusting that the summer will work out. I’m trusting that a seat-of-the-pants attitude is going to not mire us in focuslessness, but instead liberate us somehow.
Generally, I’ve found that the best way to approach summer vacation has been to plan, even to set goals. I don’t necessarily tell anyone or post mission statements, but it has kept me from falling into the abyss of crabby, aimless, “what! you want me to do something?” motherhood. I’ve always done better with at least an internal outline.
So here’s our plan. We’re only doing one week-long summer camp. The girls are not happy about it. I’d like to go camping, haven’t thought about where. Friends and family are coming to see us, bless them, and we may camp with them. We live in a beautiful place filled with stuff to do. If I don’t have work, I will be working on getting some, or on thick curtains for the winter.
The girls will be home for a lot of it and they can look after themselves. Yes, they won’t be eating breakfast until I make something for their grouchy selves at 11. (long aside: last summer, I carefully put out all relevant breakfast materials every morning, and found that no matter what, they chose to sit around until I came out of my office. And then get difficult until food magically appeared. We’ll work again on personal culinary independence this summer, but I’m not holding out much hope.)
Yes, we are likely to be wandering to the library midday and noodling along to playdates and swimming when all our friends and their delightful mothers get out of camp around 3.
It sounds relaxing, perhaps boring, with almost definitely too much screen time. And perhaps they’ll birth their genius future in all that down time. Perhaps they’ll spend years complaining to their therapists about how all their friends had better summers than they did. (I nursed a similar resentment about my parents’ snort-filled rejections of my desire for a horse, but by the time I got to a therapist, I knew better than to bring it up.)
This isn’t — quite — the lament of a nervous helicopter mother being forced to relax. We’ve never done many summer camps, for example. It is, as I look ahead, the realization that, it isn’t quite how I’d hoped it would work out. But I also wasn’t making a rockin’ summer a priority this spring.
Last year, our slow summer was because of my work and our financial decision-making. I crafted it out of circumstances. This year, I’m not crafting much at all, at least not so far. I know summer around here can be just fine and we’ll be ok. My decisions here will hold their own in the girls’ future therapy sessions. It’s more that I’m approaching it with less craft and more surrender, and hoping for a reasonable outcome. Maybe even a rockin’ one.
This post is part of a series of posts on trust, based on the 21-Day Salutes originated by blogger Colleen Wainwright. The intention is to write daily to help shift a habit. Originally, she had been told that it takes 21 days of new behavior to change a habit. She has since found out that it is apparently takes much longer. Oh well….