Life In The Summer
Quite possibly my favorite thing about summer as a mom is the ability to unashamedly relive some of my childhood nostalgia through my two-year-old son. Cyrus and I spent the first five weeks of summer sharing a room in southern Louisiana so I could shoot video for a youth camp very dear to my heart. It was a God-sent opportunity I couldn’t turn down, but it meant temporarily putting aside some of my summer plans and desires to make it happen. It also meant a collective two and a half weeks away from my husband + best friend, which is never easy.
We’ve been home for just under a week, and can I just say, there is absolutely nothing like coming home after being gone for a while. Even when the place you just came from is a magical oasis, I don’t think anything beats that first sigh of relief when you swing open the front door and plop your luggage down. Thank you, Jesus, for a home I love coming back to.
Unfortunately, summer is never as ideal as we build it up to be in the colder months when we are daydreaming of pina coladas and the warm sun on our tan shoulders. I always make a summer bucket list filled with activities like baseball games and road trips and swimming and homemade popsicles. But when summer finally hits, I am suddenly reminded that I live in Texas, and unless I want to give my toddler a heat stroke or melt my thighs to the bleachers, outdoor events are off the table. Also, why do I always forget about the mosquitos? Every single year I convince myself that I am going to spend more evenings by the firepit, and I do it once, then spend the next four days in bug bite purgatory. This year we have chiggers, which means as much as I love the idea of Cyrus playing in the sprinklers every day and drinking smoothies on the porch, July has looked a lot more like little dinosaurs all over the house and too much Netflix.
But despite the usual setbacks, I have thoroughly enjoyed this season. Aside from taking my last two summer courses before officially being considered a college graduate, I have more free time than I am used to. This week I started waking up early to go for a run just as the sun is rising. It has been so peaceful and refreshing to have that time to collect my thoughts and listen to worship before Cyrus wakes up. Yesterday, Matt and I took a Sabbath and got smoothies and had a date night at Studio Movie Grill (Groupon currently has a $5 ticket deal). When I feel like braving the bugs, I’ll take Cyrus outside to play in his kiddie pool. We just booked an Airbnb for a trip to Disneyland/the beach next month, which means I am in deep planning mode: reading all the blogs and seeking out all the best eateries and activities on a shoestring budget. But there is also an underlying excitement, knowing in four short weeks, I will be submitting my last college paper (for the foreseeable future) and packing all the beach things for our first real family trip with just the three of us.
Life is so not ideal most of the time, but that doesn’t have to stop us from truly living.
It’s days like these when the moments are small but so are the worries, where I wish I could slow down time long enough to capture every memory. I’m tired and distracted a lot of the time, and probably allow Cyrus to watch more movies than I should, but the curtains are open and the sun is pouring into the living room in all its colorful brilliance, and it feels like enough.
I don’t know what summer looks like for you--maybe it’s the usual 9 to 5 grind, only with a hotter commute, or maybe you are trying to entertain a house full of kiddos AND maintain all your normal responsibilities at the same time. But I hope you find a way to do the things you dreamt of doing all winter. I hope the mosquitos don’t keep you from reading in the hammock or hosting the barbeque. Life is so not ideal most of the time, but that doesn’t have to stop us from truly living. No more excuses. It’s going to be hot and the kids are going to whine and the deadlines haven’t disappeared just because it’s happy hour, but that doesn’t mean we should stop relishing the moments or trying new things. It just means we may have to fight a little harder for them.