Thursday, June 12, 2014

How to Bring Back Summer...

And here I thought summer was for lazing around.
I heard some chuckling. Is my statement so audacious?
I mean, I realize I was wrong. But wouldn't it be great if I was right?

I'm finding that the older I get the more my summers become less summer and more something else.

I said good bye to my students two weeks ago. But I don't feel like anything has changed.
I don't feel like summer. I feel a little frazzled and pulled thin and frayed out. I feel worn and a bit rough.

How is it that we tend to dive straight from the pot into the frying pan? Where did we learn this? And more importantly, how do we unlearn this?  This tendency we have to over commit, or to commit before we realize the degree of time we will be asked to sacrifice, or our tendency to say yes to things without pausing for just a moment to really think about all that yes will cause us to say no to.

Props to you stay at home mamas--my heroes because you do this all year and I do it for what amounts to maybe 3 months--because I too have become a certified taxi service, an errand runner, a babysitter, a play date supervisor, a referee, a counselor, a manager, and there's still the laundry and dinner and cleaning.  

And there just don't seem to be as many hours as there should be given that it's summer and all. It's a mystery how the days grow longer. And the hours grow shorter.

Between swim lessons and dance lessons and planning for VBS and house projects and picking kids up and dropping kids off and appointments, my precious minutes have been sucked into a vortex and they have vanished. It's a mad race to the next thing. It's a constant swapping of time slots and time management and clock watching.

I'm busier now than I was teaching full time.

The irony is not wasted on me. 

The gloriously fragile myth of summer is planted into the marrow of our growing up when we are kids.

As kids we swam away our days, or read away our afternoons, or rode our bikes to the creek, or built forts in the orchards with our friends. We lived, we loved, the myth of summer because we had no idea all the building, the yarn spinning, the imagination weaving, and idea breathing that fragile myth entailed.

We had no idea what our moms had to do so we could be on swim team or go to camp or have friends over every day. And as kids, we shouldn't have any idea. That's the glorious bliss of childhood ignorance that kids belong to.

I want to firmly plant that myth of summer into my kids because they only get to be kids for so long, for a brief moment on the river of time, before all these fanciful childhood dreams will be replanted with perhaps less fanciful and more practical adult dreams and responsibilities and expectations.

You know that saying: We spend our childhood eagerly dreaming of being an adult and then when we grow up we so badly wish we could be kids again. I feel like that this week. Deep down.

And so I have to make my list and check my stuff off. I have to pray for patience and grace and steal those brief moments just for me so I can have more patience and more grace to create those special moments for my girls.

And because it's summer I'm giving myself permission to say no or to be late or to change my mind. Because what good is a stressed out mama if I'm supposed to be having fun and living the gloriously fragile myth of summer out with my girls. They need a mama to create and etch that fragile myth of summer so they can spin that myth into far fetched, impossibly beautiful dreams.

We will swim more and drive less.
We will read more and dream more and draw more.
We will build forts in the living room because it's cooler there. And there's no bugs.
We will make cookies and treats and eat them. And maybe make extra to give away.

I will say no when I need to. And not feel guilty about it.
And say yes when I want to.
I might be late. Which is almost unheard of, but hey, it's summer.
I will search for my inner Olaf  (you know, that happy snowman from Frozen who just wants warm hugs and a nice sunny beach) and bring back summer in all of its lazy ways because frankly, having every week booked solid by the beginning of June is just shy of crazy.

And warm hugs are always good!

Who said that we mamas who are busy eeking out every spare minute from the marrow of summer shouldn't be part of this glorious, fragile myth? Who said we couldn't be part of this dream, part of this twilight gazing, bug catching, adventure hopping, afternoon napping, book reading, fort building dream of summer?

I will trust Jesus more to help me walk this road better than I have been.
I will trust Jesus more for grace and patience and kindness and self-control because managing summer is sometimes hard work. And I know my control freak tendencies might need to manage less and simply live more. Thus the need for grace and patience and self-control.
I will lean hard into Him and allow Him to be the owner of my time and not get all caught up in my head and what people might think and silly expectations and what I think I should do versus what I know I ought to do. Because what really matters isn't all the time I don't have; it's the time I do have and making those minutes matter to three busy little girls.

Summer is here. It's hot.
But we've got the AC on and some blankets ready for fort building and some lemonade in the fridge and some cookies waiting for grubby little hands.
Come on over and spend summer with us!

Grace Always Rises,