Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Speed of Summer - Making it Slow Down with Summer Cravings

Is it really the second half of July??? Teresa is now ten months old! I feel like it was just a few days ago that I wrote she was nine months old.

Isn't summer whizzing by at record speed? I have a bittersweet relationship with the second half of summer. While I enjoy it so much, I am simultaneously sad that it is passing so quickly. It is an annual joke between Jason and I that once our Forth of July trip to Lake Chelan is over, we can begin planning for Christmas. It really does feel like that each year.

At this point in the summer, it becomes more difficult to relax for reasons twofold. As I'm sure you've noticed, in every store you walk into, school supplies are on display for the "Back to School" sales. I realize this is simply marketing, but it bugs me so much.

These displays remind me of the cornucopia of organizational projects and lesson planning I would like to complete before the new school year begins. I have made a good dent, but the reality is that I will never complete everything before September. I had been making good progress, but that has been put on hold as I prepare our family for a 10 day camping trip that we will be taking soon. This is our longest camping trip yet and it takes quite a bit of organization. The necessary preparations for September are complete, but there is always more that I want to do.

Summer Rolling By
Secondly, the site of the in-my-face, mocking school supplies just stresses me out and makes me panic--Hurry up! Have fun! Enjoy the summer NOW, because it's almost over. It's slipping away. This summer and your children's childhoods are slipping away! Make some happy childhood memories for them NOW! Everyone have fun NOW, damn it!

For some reason, that thought process doesn't really foster relaxation and fun.

The boys and I have been spending many evenings in our back yard after dinner, reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. What a delight! Last week we took them spontaneously to get a fro-yo and then we all played tag at the park.

I crave more times like these. I want to roll in the grass with my kids, find constellations, feel the lake's water up to our ankles, our knees, our waists, our chests, our necks and whoops! - slip underwater and swim and splash and scream with delight. I want to fly a kite and watch the boisterous clouds change shape before our eyes and blow fluffy dandelion seeds all over and not care about the future dandelions sure to crop up later. I want to snuggle around the campfire, sing songs, tell stories and get our hands sticky with chocolate and warm marshmallows. I want to go play on the swings with them and pump and pump and pump our legs until we reach the sky and the swings jump a little as we make our way down, causing my stomach to turn.

I want to hold them and squeeze them and take them in and love them and smother them with kisses and hugs!

Thankfully, our camping trip will give us a lot of opportunity to live out this sentiment. It is a lot of work to prepare for and a lot of work to set up. But once we're there, life slows down. We share the meal preparation and dishes with the friends and family who will be with us. So most of our time is filled with going on small hikes, fishing, enjoying the beach, swimming, boating, reading, playing games and sitting around the campfire.

It's the perfect pleasure to satisfy my cravings.

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