Today my kids slept in. One, in fact, is still snoozing and it’s a little past nine. The only thing on the schedule for today is a trip to the library and we can make that happen whenever we get around to it.
Sunshine and freckles and green grass and lazy days. Popsicles and flip-flops and late nights catching fireflies (and swatting mosquitos).
I love summer.
We aren’t the kind of family that scours Pinterest to find all the ways to make summer a glitter covered, double-dipped, magical time.
We’ve found that childhood has plenty of wonder all by itself. I’m so glad, because I’m not that mom***.
I’ve had about two dozen people ask me in the last few weeks how I’m going to get my writing done while the kids are at home for the summer. Many of these people don’t realize that I wrote Paint Chips while the kiddos were preschoolers and My Mother’s Chamomile the year I homeschooled them. And that I did a big chunk of work on A Cup of Dust last summer.
Not that I’m bragging. Ahem.
But here’s the thing (and the thing that humbles me as a mom) – much of summer magic happens when my three are outside, in the backyard, up to their elbows in dirt with a toad swimming around in a bucket. A lot of their wonder moments have absolutely nothing to do with me. They have to do with them connecting with the world God placed around them.
I’m learning to be okay with that.
Remember when we were kids? We’d find a worm and be intrigued for a whole two minutes before we found a clump of wildflowers our big brothers hadn’t mowed yet. Then we hopped on the swing and pretended we were flying off into the great beyond of space until our legs got worn out from pumping back and forth. Rocks were treasures and butterflies fairies. Outside was our very own Wonderland.
It’s the same for our kids/grandkids/nieces/nephews/neighbors/friends.
As much as I want in on all of their imaginings and daydreams, they aren’t mine. The kids can share them with me, but they don’t have to.
We do plenty together. We read and take trips to the Big Lake (Lake Michigan for all you non-Michiganders). We explore zoos and parks and trails.
But the magic? That belongs to them. I can’t manufacture it and I don’t own it.
And I’m learning to be okay with that.
***If you happen to be that mom, then rock it, sister. It just isn’t for me. And I’m sure your kids LOVE that you’re that mom. Also, if you want to make an outside chalk board for my kids, I wouldn’t be angry at you.