This is it. The last day of summer vacation. I felt it so strongly on Monday that I chose a moment from each day that represented "the end" to me in some way. Not that I am sad, really. I feel ready for this transition. As a teacher I used to feel August pressing down on me as soon as the last firework exploded on the 4th of July. Not this year.
This summer has been magical. Slow. Supple. Sweet. Simple. (and Sweaty of course). But even the blasted humidity has felt more like a purification this year. Last fall our family had a bit of a stressed-out-breakdown. By this time in August of last year, my boys had been selling Cub Scout popcorn for two weeks - well on their way to top rankings in their troop. Soccer practice had also begun in addition to weekly Scout meetings. I (foolishly) had accepted an invitation to be the PR rep for Scouts and my husband was. never. home. Then basketball started. Three practices a week. While they were both still playing soccer. It simply lit the fuse on the bomb inside of me. My kids didn't want to get home from school and rush through dinner to get to Scouts or soccer or basketball and frankly, neither did I. After much prayer and discussion we simply had to quit. One son chose to continue in soccer which was totally doable, but all three of us had to resign from Scouts. It was hard and a more than a little humbling but it was absolutely the right thing to do.
During the winter, I told my soccer playing son that he would have to wait a year to play basketball so that the other son could continue to play for the school team. It was another brilliant decision. Three practices a week was more than enough for all of us. I said no thank you to volunteering all through the school year. Room parent? No. Lunch room duty? Way no. VBS decorator. Um, no. I quit MOPS. I felt liberated. I snuggled my toddler. I began blogging out of no where. I had a sudden burst of creativity in my heart and soul and I knew it was because I had withdrawn from the world's requests and chosen to listen closely to that still small voice inside.
So once this summer came around we had another discussion. Camps? No. VBS? No. Major road trip up north? Yes but finally, No. With the exception of one week of basketball camp at their school, we have been totally free this summer. Some days we invited friends over, some days we went to the waterpark or the beach. We took two shorter road trips here and here. Many, many, many days we filled the little pool in the yard and stayed home all day. We got bored and broke through it. We were a family having fun together in a simplistic way.
I asked each boy this week if they liked how we did summer this year. They were adamant - yes! I know that, like the lilies that have bloomed once and are now gone forever, my boys will not always want to spend their summers at home with me. That's as it should be. But why send them out all summer long when they would really rather be home with me instead? I have thanked God (and my husband) daily for this season in time. That I am able to even be home, that they desire to be home, that we have had the best summer to date. I don't know what next year will bring. Soccer for both boys begins next month. Separate teams, more practices and still, a husband who is often unable to help. (gulp)
At least we are heading into this new season well-rested, well-prepared in love to handle what comes. Sun-tanned and stress-free. It's been a very good thing.