AUTHOR: Carolyn Savage | POSTED: 08/28/14 10:44 AM
CATEGORIES: Blog, perspective, saying goodbye
Around the middle of May my social media feeds were flooded with posts from parents who were”limping” across the finish line of the school year. Pinterest inspired lunches were replaced with lunchables…or boxes of crackers. Homework assignments that required parental assistance morphed from over-the-top to, “What homework assignment? Aw…just pull some scraps out of the garbage and glue them onto this posterboard…er…side of an Amazon shipping box.” It seems that when the pressure of our busy school year routines build up, the light at the end of the tunnel known as summer causes us to wave our white flags of surrender.
We need a break. We need to slow down. Can this be over already?
Funny thing is, I noticed the same thing about the end of summer. When school let out the first week of June I was ambitious. Maybe even a little over eager. I had a mental summer bucket list that included hiking in our metro parks; day trips to the shores of Lake Erie; and water balloons. There were day camps and art programs; swimming and tennis lessons; and backyard fires with s’mores. My cupboards were amply stocked with sunscreen and bugspray.
Fast forward to the beginning of August. Suddenly hiking, swimming and water balloons had lost their appeal. And as for sunscreen? Hell. I was down to one bottle with a wonky spray nozzle that only squirted sideways. Cloud cover quickly became my friend.
Making matters worse, I remember returning home from our week in Michigan and walking into the store to see aisles and aisles of happiness on a shelf. School supplies. Hallelujah. It was almost time to dust off those lunch boxes and get inspired again. I had two more weeks of time to finish off that bucket list with the kids but suddenly I was all, “Forget it. You five need some alternative adult interaction in your lives.”
That’s code for “Mama’s tired.”
Tired of applying bugspray; tired of drying beach towels and scrubbing asphalt stained feet; and tired of breaking up fights over squirt guns and cleaning up toys. Suddenly I didn’t care as much if tennis was played or a swim stroke was perfected. And back yard camp fires with s’mores? Nope. It was time for appropriate bedtimes. For all of us.
We all need a break. To slow down. Can this be over already?
Sometimes I worry that I don’t live in the moment enough. I don’t know if it’s because I have so many obligations–five kids; a home and yard to care for; a pregnancy to protect; and a publishing date…and birth date… looming on the horizon. I often find myself thinking about what I should be doing instead of what I’m actually doing and feeling guilty about all of it. I also admit to looking forward to the beginings of new seasons before the old season is complete. But then, I wonder if that isn’t the way our culture is wired. We are taught to prepare in advance lest ye be caught off guard once what’s on the horizon is actually happening tomorrow. Back-to-school hype begins the day after the Fourth. Stores have their Christmas stuff out already. And summer vacation dances onto our radar as soon as the Easter Sunday sun has set.
I think those subtle–and not so subtle–cues cause me to feel behind. At the same time I kind of like it. I look forward to change. The thoughts of pumpkins and stuffing; football games and cross country races; I find the change in seasons is invigorating. It motivates me to move on to something new and to turn away from my tiredness.
Change is my break. It causes me to simultaneously slow down and wrap up–and push my peddle to the metal in a new and very different gear.
It keeps me inspired.
The girls are settled into their school. Ryan is rocking his senior year, so far. Erica has only been here for a week, but it seems like we’ve known her for our entire lives. And Drew? Well, his sophomore year in college and second season on the Bobcat cross country team seems to be off to a stellar start.
We are settling.
Time to get inspired.