The spot in the corner where the jackets and backpacks are kept is now empty. The snacks in the cupboard are less of the prepackaged variety and more the sit-at-the-kitchen-table type. There’s no lunch menu hanging beneath the monthly family menu.
When the girls got home from their last day of school, with backpacks bulging to extremes, we spent a lot of time sorting through all the supplies that they had needed for their school year. I marveled as I sorted through dry erase markers and folders in every color of the rainbow that it seems just yesterday that I was wondering if I could put the snowpants in a final wash before storing them or if I would jinx it all and bring on another snowstorm by doing so.
Summer comes in a rush. We go through such a short time of transitioning from heavy winter coats to light jackets till all of a sudden we are in a pinch to search out the shorts and flip flops. We were just plugging along through the dredges of winter and the slow start of spring – trying to simply get to the end of the year.
And though we just stumbled across it, the abruptness of the end of that process sort of knocks the wind out of me. All of a sudden I am staring at days upon days upon days of no plans. And that is so freeing. And slightly daunting.
I have been the super-planned-out-mom in years past. We’ve had daily agendas. There was a time when an organized schedule was important to me. Nothing wrong with that, but that just isn’t where my heart is this year. As my kids get older and become more independent, I’ve found they need a whole lot less direction. Giving them room to be bored and come up with their own creative playing has its benefits. So no activity calendar here this summer!
And yet, I want to make it count. I want to do all those ordinary fun things (like park playdates, and picnics and blowing bubbles in the yard) without a pre-arranged plan. I am praying that we will just take life as it comes to us this summer. That we will live it and enjoy it and experience it together.
That’s my goal for this summer – together.
I’m still OCD and the type of person who actually likes little lesson plans or organized activity. But I’m not doing that this year in an effort to just BE with my people. We’re not always going to get along. The time will go too fast. And before I know it those backpacks will be back in their corner and we’ll be scouring the shelves of Walmart for the rainbow of folders on the school supply list. But before that time comes, we aren’t going to DO summer in a big way. We’re going to experience it in the small and simple and sweet ways that bring us closer together.
And I’m a whole lot more excited about that than I have ever been about an activity calendar.