My kids have not even been out of school a full week yet and they are already bored, fighting, and expecting big plans daily.
There was a time when I wanted to schedule “fun” things for them everyday or at least a few times a week. Then last year we made an End of Summer Bucket List. The Bucket List was awesome! It was a fun way for everyone to get a “say” in what we were doing. I am going to have to pull that out again in August, for sure!
This year, I have a very different summer shaping up. I feel like this is a transitional summer.
My big kids are able to ride to friends houses and make their own plans and my younger daughter gets to be 5 and enjoy all that it means to be that age. Plus, we are in the middle of some home renovations so I am at the mercy of contractors, plumbers, and the like when it comes to when I can be home and when I cannot.
Personally, I am in the midst of a… let’s just call it a health transformation. Thanks to a team of incredible doctors and their vetted interests in my “previvor” health I am finally taking the necessary steps to secure my future health. It won’t be easy, but nothing hard and life-changing ever should be.
Instead of getting mad and upset that the summer I wish my family could have just isn’t happening… I am going to LOVE the summer we do have. We are so blessed as a family. My family is alive. They are healthy. Those two things are all that really matter.
In the wake of senseless American tragedies and violence in Chicago, it is so clear that love and goodness is what my family needs to focus on, not on what we are missing out on this summer. All families that lost a loved one this week will have to live with those losses for the rest of their lives. While the men and women of Orlando will miss out on the lives they should have finished. There was so much they could have accomplished, so much good that they could have shared with our world.
In their honor and the honor of all others that lose their chance to share goodness and love with the world, I am focusing on the good in my life and enjoying whatever that looks like for my family. No pity party over here for spilled milk, missed summer camp sign-ups, my two surgeries that my kids aren’t expecting yet, rainy days (or too hot days), scars, drains, or trips to the doctors for my tata’s. Nope, not gonna happen! We are alive and we are going to live each day that way.
We have our favorite family vacation on the books for July and some smaller, day trips planned as well. Other than that, my kids aren’t signed up for much and I’m okay with that. At first, I was sad for my kids that they’d miss out on a few of their favorite things like VBS at church and summer sports camps, but it turns out that they don’t mind missing them.
We have had such a great week with the things we have done, the places we’ve gone, and the people we’ve chosen to be with… that the future of summer is looking okay.
Sure, they whine and complain, they bicker, they get bored, but isn’t that the point!?!? Don’t they need to figure it out and learn to manage their time on their own and just play?
They should be PLAYING all summer long. And yes, playing comes with disappointment and disagreements, but it also comes with loads of laughs, smiles, and some of the best days ever! They don’t need me to direct their activities, plan their days, or coordinate sibling cooperation. They need people skills. They need to learn to fend for themselves. If I do it for them, they will have NO skills to handle it on their own when I am not there.
This might not be the summer I planned, but you’ll be damn sure that I am going to make sure that it’s the best one we’ve ever had, because I am not going to stand for complaining and pity parties.
I am going to stand for LOVE. We are going to PLAY. We are going to bicker, play a ton, be disappointed, create art, have bad days, eat special treats, laugh a ton, make mistakes, catch fish, learn about each other, play with friends, and more…but we are ALIVE and that’s why we can have the balance of the good with the bad.
I adore this quote by Bob Marley, “Love the life you live. Live the life you love.” It is my life mantra, and rings truer this week than ever before. I hope and pray that it inspires my children to live. To live without regret or fear of being themselves. To love without prejudice or judgement. And to live in a world that is safe, equal, and proud of all members who reside on this planet. I don’t know who they will be when they grow up, but I do know that they will be filled with as much goodness as humanly possible.
LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE
There are no happy accidents~