Wednesday, July 8, 2015

That's Summer

The view from summer.

Where have I been lately?

That’s a darn good question. I’ve been in the Land of Summer, resting my writing muscles. A lot of my muscles, actually.

After a whirlwind spring, which wrapped up two years of all kinds of intensity, I took time off. I decided not to write until it felt fun again. And here it is! The magical laziness of summer, having our kids home, the respite from schoolwork and (most) extracurricular activities—they have all worked their powerful juju and I’m feeling my brain come back to life.

It’s so much fun watching the kids follow their whims. To start vacation, they redesigned Little A.’s Lego train to carry messages back and forth between their bedrooms. The doors of their bedrooms are exactly 12.5 inches apart. That’s summer.

The other day, S. combined her love of math (not my genes!) with her love of art and spent hours watching videos. Videos of what? Videos explaining how Fibinacci sequences occur in nature and art—including why Spongebob’s pineapple is all wrong. That’s summer.

We took a quick but wonderful trip to visit family—the first plane trip Little A. really remembers. (Side note: I LOVED how he referred to takeoff, every single time, as “when the plane launches.”) When we got home, he disappeared into his room (as he often does) and I heard the rattle of Legos (as I often do) and then he came out with a detailed Lego airport, complete with terminal, control tower, and a shuttle to the gates, just like our airport. Some people draw their experiences; some write them…he builds them. That’s summer.

This week and next, S. plunges fully into her favorite recreation (climbing) at one of her favorite places (circus camp). After a day shimmying, hanging, and spinning in an arena without air-conditioning, she comes home sweaty, sore, tired, and sometimes rope-burned. And ecstatic! That’s summer.

Little A., with time to focus, buckled down and earned his purple belt in tae kwon do. In any martial art, sometimes the student earns a new belt not easily, but predictably. Other times, earning a belt requires the student shake off an old way of thinking, dig a little deeper, and find new abilities inside. Little A. had one of those this time. It was epic. That’s summer.

As for me, I’m enjoying the respite from mandatory early morning wakings and the break from filling lunchboxes, signing forms, and managing school-related minutiae. Bedtimes have relaxed; I can take more time to cook creative dinners. Cooking may be one of my least favorite tasks, but I like it so much better when I have more than twenty minutes to get it together!

Mostly, I’m enjoying a break from being the taskmaster, the COO, the team manager, and—let’s face it—the bad guy of the family. The kids asked for a laidback summer, so we all agreed to Chore Day, Library Day, Movie Day, Beach Day, and Adventure Day on weekday mornings. Afternoons we get to ourselves. Except for a few weeks of camp, we all flow with this schedule that we all love.

Sure, occasionally, I have to remind someone to “Get in the car, right now, or I’m leaving you!” but otherwise we’re mellow.

And I’m beyond grateful for this time to hear what the kids are thinking, to take the slow, subtle approach to helping them grow, to joke with them, to just share space, time, and the beauty of the season.

That’s summer.

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