A few days into our summer break and I wonder how I ever did school. While I am feeling especially in love with it, I thought I’d share. This is what summer means to me:
Moving silently around my house, trying not to wake sleeping girls in the morning, catching up on all kinds of things. Like the third cup of coffee I usually don’t get to have, the blogs I want to read more of, re-reading my church notes from years ago. Uninterrupted daydreaming. I’ll let my stomach growl until I can’t take it anymore and try to get some cereal without crinkling the plastic bag it’s still in (because I am too lazy in the summer to put it in its Tupperware container). I’ll look at the clock around nine o’clock and admit that I am an irresponsible mom. After all, part of the reason I let them watch a movie so late the night before was for this luxurious alone moment. But I won’t care.
Playing for hours on end in our pool, forever saying…”Stop splashing!” Finally, I will get out and laugh while they splash to their hearts content. No matter how long we’ve swam they will always say…”Just a few more minutes, mom? Pleeeeease?” To which I’ll say, “Fine. Two minutes.” Then, when it comes to say, “Okay, out. Now!” They get out happily, knowing I’ll wrap them in the fresh towels that have been warming on our clothesline.
Our legendary sleepovers, with just enough supervision. Pizza, movies, games, giggling. Whispering late into the night, baring souls. Hysterical, stayed-up-way-too-late, giddiness. I’ll deliver late night snacks and kiss my daughter and her friends on their foreheads and caution them not to stay up too late. We’ll all have a good laugh at that one and then I’ll go lay with my little one (too young for sleepovers!) and tell her stories so she doesn’t fall asleep feeling left out. More and more, though, the older girls will invite her to share in the fun. This means I peel her off the floor at 2am to insert her into her own bed. Every year I’ll say no more than one night at a time! And every year the girls will be so cute I can’t resist. Until the end of the third day when they’re all grumpy and bickering. Then I’ll say, Never again!
Trips to the beach where we’ll arrive early enough that it’s still cold and roast marshmallows in the fire pit for breakfast. Later, as the sun rises, we’ll watch daddy surf and play games with the waves. I’ll force my girls to stand quietly and just think…be in awe really, of how awesome God is. How can you be at the ocean and not think of God? When we get good and warm, we’ll go out into the deep and the girls will laugh at how I always have to have one hand up in the air when a wave crashes over me. Coco’s friends began calling it The Angela. I don’t know why I do this. Towards the end of the day, Eric will let me know I can take a walk along the beach by myself, which he knows I love. (Yes, I am a cliché) At the last second, I’ll grab one of my girl’s hand and ask her to come with me and bless her heart… she’ll be delighted. On the way home, we’ll sing our made up song about sand in body parts and then the girls will fall asleep while I chatter to keep Eric awake.
Documenting everything we do with my camera. Taking lots of silly pictures, determined to bulk up our scrapbooks. We’ll make a page or two, too. But mostly we’ll be too busy being free to do anything very time consuming. So, the photos will stay in their file on the computer where we’ll view them often and we’ll all exclaim…”Oh! I forgot we did that!”
Sitting in the front grass while the kids play with the neighbors who generously share their junk food. They’ll have their secret club meetings on our Blue’s Clues comforter on the grass, clipboards in hand and serious looks on their faces. They’ll sit far enough away to not be heard, but close enough to run inside for unexpected supplies or bathroom visits. An eavesdropper could learn that they are studiously planning their next meeting. And this is all they do at meetings, really. Plan their next one. Soleil is somehow club president, and Coco and her sixteen year old friend tell me this without so much as a wink. I’m not sure exactly what the club is, but I do know it involves many little secret slips of paper that gets hidden in jewelry boxes. I suspect someday they’ll tell me. Or maybe not.
Of course every so often we’ll pull the shades closed tightly and answer the door in our PJ’s only to say, NO, we can’t play outside today. Inside, a marathon of movies and immobility await. And candy. Lots of candy.
What do summers mean to you? Please share!