I’m so glad that June comes on the heels of May. I need June in my life. May is the culmination of the school year and extra-curricular activities, with all the attending busyness. June is that wonderful, clear open month of respite and restoration.
We have worked hard all year. We have earned this summer and it is finally here!
There was that one summer we went to the pool every morning before anyone else got there. I swam with the older two kids while my third child, then six months, napped in her stroller. I don’t think any of my other babies would have sat there in a stroller and also taken a nap for so long, but she did. It was amazing. I will never forget how restorative that summer was.
Now that the kids are getting older, our summers probably will not ever be quite that laid-back. Summer camps and other activities started creeping in here and there, at some point. These things are all good, and we enjoy them. I accept that I am in a different phase of life with the kids now.
But summer is still a time for relaxing from our academic labors. And, boy, do we sure need it when it comes!
Now that I have a sixth grader (how is that possible?), I’m trying to be more intentional about summer activities, while at the same time, leaving room for relaxing. I signed her up for two camps and some art lessons. I can see the emerging adult more and more, and I want her to be challenged to develop skills and life-long interests. She really loves art and is interested in business. So along with the art lessons and a piano camp, I signed her up for an entrepreneurial camp where she will learn everything from balancing a checkbook and investing, to marketing an invention.
It is a joy to see my children find things they love and are interested in. I’m sure you can relate!
Recently, we met some friends at a local park with some wooded, winding nature trails. I had forgotten to warn the other mom, my friend, that there was a river with a little “beach” at the end of the nature trails. Her kids were all wearing cute outfits with matching hair bows.
One kid decided to dip her feet in, and then it was all over. Little sandals lined the shore of the river and all the kids were in. It was an impromptu creek stomping adventure!
Before we knew it, most of the kids were almost fully submerged in the water, splashing and cavorting about.
Fortunately, my friend was a good sport about her kids’ cute outfits becoming unrecognizable with mud. (I only have awesome friends, by the way!)
I stood and watched these kids, splashing about, on the cusp of summer. There were no time constraints. No need to rush. Just eight kids, a beautiful river of water, sunshine pouring down, and a reverberation of childhood laughter.
All the ingredients of summer mixed up together, right there in front of my eyes. The restoration has already begun.
God bless summer.
Photo Credit: First image graphic design by Charity Klicka; second image by Amy Koons.