Friday, June 02, 2006

"Oh what do you do in the summertime. . ."

". . . when all the world is green? Do you march in parades, or drink lemonades, or count all the starts in the sky? Is that what you do? So do I."
CS, p. 245

Confession: I am more excited for summer break than my kids. As I type, they are finishing up their 10th to the last day of school. With 18 days to go, I made one of those paper chains that the kids often bring home in December to count down to Christmas. But instead of red and green construction paper, I used pink and yellow and orange, with red numbers. I enlisted the help of #2 and #3. #1 was not interested. I cut and they stapled and labeled numbers. It was quite fun, and this afternoon the chain will be half as long!

Second confession: I will be sadder for school to start back up at the end of August than my kids--even #2. The other three will likely be excited to get back! The last two weeks of summer break I will be trying my hardest to ignore the dreadful growing pit in my stomach and instead fully enjoy what's left of my vacation. I will try to balance doing lots of fun things with doing nothing at all, which is also fun.

Why do I love school breaks? Part of it is entirely about me. I tend to resist structure and routine. I prefer events and projects. I'm sure structure is good for me. But so is wheat bread, and most of the time I'd clearly rather have a donut. (Um, not that I do, but that would be my preference.) Summer is right up my alley. I get to have the chocolate glazed Krispy Kreme in my whole-grain filled life.

The other part of my love of summer is my kids. I love to have them home. I love to have that time to interact and learn together. We can have more moments like yesterday. #3 brought home some sunflower and corn seedlings that she'd grown at school. We planted them after lunch, which was fun in and of itself. Then I noticed a ladybug in the pine tree above our head. It's ladybug season and they are everywhere. I pointed it out to the kids then saw another. I counted 5. Then I counted 10. And suddenly they began to pop out all over. Little red bugs on green needles--hundreds of them, all the way up the tree. It felt like we'd entered a fairy land.

Maybe they'd been in the pines before, but I'd never noticed them. They are small and easy to miss. And yesterday, we saw magic in our front yard. So much of life is like that. So much of raising kids is like that. When I'm in a hurry and life is busy, I miss more of the magic and fun and beauty that is always there. But when there is time, when I'm relaxed, I see it. And my kids and I together have the opportunity to see it in the world around us.

This summer we will swim and hike. We will tie dye and knit and make ribbon barrettes. We'll play monster trucks and we'll read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. We'll see sights along the road and we'll make ice cream on the back deck. And I'll try not to worry about what's getting done and what's not.

My little ladybugs will fly away before I know it. I want to enjoy them as much as I can.

2 fishy comments:

Jenn said...

It's hard when summer ends! I hate that my kids have year-round school here, although admittedly, summer does drag on TOO long sometimes on a regular schedule. Enjoy yourselves! I hope it's an awesome summer filled with every imaginable kind of fun!

Kelly said...

When I first read this blog I thought it was funny how you look forward to summer since right now with my one child, I look forward to the day that he starts school and I finally have a moment to myself. But after reading your blog, I do have to say that I can see me being the same way once he is in school and actually missing the time that we once had together ALL day and night long :)