As this years summer winds down, I am in awe at how little we have accomplished this year. We went into the summer with grandiose plans and everyone made a list. Similar to our bucket lists of past summers. However, we never really focused on checking anything off! But you want to know what they really gained this summer? It was something I didn't plan on, but I am so glad I noticed it in action. My Kids Gained Valuable, Real-Life Social Skills.
As this year comes to a close, I have come to the realization that although parts of 2016 totally sucked. Not all of it did. Before the promise of a new year rolls around, I wanted to take some time to reflect on what I learned from 2016. You better believe that my New Years Resolutions will include fun and fewer hospital stays than 2016 permitted!
To say I was a nervous wreck that first day in the hospital, is an understatement. I was so down and throwing myself a big ol' pity party...but that's not really my style. I promised myself that I would only focus on the positive. There are moments that I get totally discouraged and wonder why this happened. I know that it is a combination of many things. But I also know that I can't do anything about what happened except move forward, learn from it, inform others, and reach out to those around me to pay their kindness forward.
My 9 year old daughter took on some new extra-curricular activities this school year, and that meant putting some other activities on "hold." She determined that she was just too busy to do it all and needed some time to adjust to life as a 4th grader. She had been playing travel soccer, but right as the season was revving up, she panicked. When she came to us and said she needed downtime, we were surprised, but ultimately we understood and allowed her to step back from the team and gave her the space she needed to grow and figure things out.
Last week, at the spur of the moment, I bought a mini-mailbox for $1 from Target When I got home, I scoured Pinterest for pre-made and free printable's that I could use with my mailbox. After finding the printable notes, I felt like my ideas were coming together.... mailbox and notes. I got it! I would leave a little love note each night in the mailbox for my kids, husband, and other house guests or special visitors. Easy. That I could do!
Then, I get a quick little ping on my phone, a text alert. With a simple "YES!" to the question, "Do you want to have ribs with us tonight?" BAM, our day was set! I could see it now, the kids could lounge around and play while Jeff and I got some piddly work done around the house. Then, he could run to the store while I started baking one of two desserts. Once everything was baked and the salad was tossed, we'd walk across the street for dinner... perfect!! I loved the way this day was shaping up, and all by 9:04AM! Not long after that the buzz of neighborhood play was all around me. Boys and girls were in and out of my house in a swirl of summery fun. The sun was out, bikes were zooming down the block, and good old-fashioned play was happening.
I was left with the nagging feeling that maybe we didn't do everything on our summer bucket list. It was an extensive list and after all my kids are big thinkers, but I checked the list and we really only had a few things left to do. That's when it hit me, their idea of a perfect summer evolved from the "Summer Bucket List" we made in May. That list changed as they grew up right in front of me..but I never stopped to update it. I looked at the list as my big "To-Do List". I was just checking things off the list, so that they wouldn't gripe at me in August. But, here we are.. griping...in JULY. Cue the mommy guilt.