How was your weekend, friends? Another one gone so quickly that I feel like I barely blinked and then it’s Monday again! How is it that some days and months seem to fly by and then some hours seem to drag on for an eternity? Like the hour before dad gets home from work?!
This summer has been like that. Just when we’re really rolling along with our lazy days of sleeping in and staying up too late, our summer break is winding down with just two weeks to go.
I was mildly concerned about how this summer was gonna go with James and Jordan at home and no camps or trips or anything really on the agenda. I’ve learned in summers past that James enjoys staying home and that a camp where “all they do is play all day” isn’t his idea of a good time. #gofigure He wants to be building, creating, getting into characters and most of all, wearing his pjs! So, I decided to go with the flow, which is becoming more my nature as I’ve gotten older, although there is still plenty of Type-A schedule-oriented blood running through my veins.
We had a crazy busy end of the school year with James in karate, baseball, and theater and it was too much. For me. It didn’t seem to bother him, but I was over keeping up with it all. The summer break with “nothing to do” was a welcome change.
So, we’ve taken it easy, stayed home a lot of the days, bought a little pool for the backyard, went to the big pool some, and played at the splash pad. James’ two cousins came over a lot and they are a fun trio.
We did ordinary stuff like make chocolate chip cookies,
Rug (on sale)
play baseball in the backyard,
and ride in the wagon.
We went to a baseball game . . .
and a last-minute weekend vacation for 4th of July to Lost Pines. One of my favorite parts of that trip was watching a movie with James outside, under the stars. Blissful!
Toward the end of the summer, James took a few golf lessons and it turns out he’s got quite the talent for it. They practice and learn for two days and on the third day, play 3 holes. It was funny when he came home on day two and declared, “my tee time is at 7:15 am tomorrow and I need to be dressed in appropriate golfing attire.” He was so proud when he made the shot across the pond on his first try! And then he did made it again on week #2!
More importantly though, I’ve loved seeing how he’s taken to the role of big brother. He adores his little sister and is so good with her. She’s pretty fond of him too.
I’m so so thankful that we took this summer slow. It was good for all of us.
In my typically over-scheduled and ambitiously productive life, I have to consciously remind myself to savor the fleeting moments that are my kids’ childhood and my experience of it. I have to stop and sit and just watch Jordan eat her food with her tiny, perfect little toddler fingers. I have to pause to really hear the joy in their magical laughter. And I have to remember to look James in the eyes when he’s talking to me.
Awhile ago, my friend told me about her visit with a child psychologist who encouraged her to give her young daughter 15 minutes of undivided attention each day. At the time, my first reaction was, 15 minutes? That doesn’t sound like that much.
Then I started paying attention to how long I gave my own kids 15 minutes of undivided attention. I was surprised and ashamed to realize it wasn’t as often as I thought.
Sure, I played a lot with Jordan and read books and went on walks with her and I’m with her way longer than 15 minutes at a time. But I’m embarrassed to admit that my attention wasn’t always 100% on her, even when I was with her. After 5 minutes I might be thinking about what I need to make for dinner or about an email I need to respond to.
Yes, those things are part of life and must get done, but there’s a time and a place. A time for planning and preparing and doing and a time for really being with my kids. There are busy seasons and busy parts of the day of course. But, surely I could carve out 15 minutes everyday for undivided one-on-one time.
I know it sounds crazy, but I’ve actually set the timer before so that I could make sure I was focused during that time and it was eye-opening to see how quickly my mind could start to wander when playing legos or how I’d just want to organize them! I’m working on it. Now I just try to pay more attention to what we’re creating and how he came up with that idea or watch his boy hands work.
It’s hard to always be focused on your kids when they’re doing something you’re honestly not interested in. Please tell me you’ve been there or I’ll feel like an awful mom!! But, I’ve also been given so many opportunities to engage with them and to do things with them that we both can enjoy. Or maybe with Jordan, because she’s such a busy bee, I’ll just sit nearby her and observe. She’s at that age where it’s truly fascinating to watch the connections in her brain and see her figure more things out on a daily basis.
I’ll just say that that conversation with my friend stuck with me and that the intention to be really present for 15 minutes at a time has changed me as a mom for the better. I want to be the best mom I can be and I know we need to allow ourselves GRACE because we’re doing the best we can!
I love these two to pieces!
And yes, I will welcome that comfortable routine again when the school year starts!