It’s halfway through the first week of summer break.
We’ve gone hiking (during which I was entirely convinced a tick had found its way into my hair, only to discover that one actually landed on David’s shorts. Who’s paranoid now, right?), and to the pool (for a freezing two hours, which ended in two children shivering so hard their teeth chattered even though it was perfectly warm enough to be swimming, they swear). They’ve had shaved ice for dinner, and played in the sprinkler, and eaten dinner al fresco on the deck while rain suddenly sprinkled down. We’ve had one child with a 103-degree fever (yes, it was unrelated to the frigid swimming. Why do you ask?), and washed beach towels that are most definitely the neighbors’ and not ours. We’ve gone to Hersheypark and then to Troegs. I’ve broken up approximately 35 fights (a day) and ignored as many others. I have not yet cleaned out the girls’ backpacks, but Quinlan just did the job for me, and now the kitchen table is piled high with an assortment of broken crayons, worksheets, and a couple of end-of-the-year momentos I better squirrel away before they get thrown out because holy cow with all the papers.
It’s summer. My kids refuse to change out of their pajamas until they have to. They’re sad because a lot of the neighbors are on vacation or at camps and the usual springtime play crowd has disappeared, so they turn to me for fun. So I turn them outside. I leave them to create forts and play “ghost” with blankets and ride their scooters around the driveway. We walk the dog and they’ve gotten more chores and they’re so excited to run errands with me because it means they might be able to use that Target gift card they’ve been hoarding since February. I’ve been making breakfast and lunch and dinner like a proper adult because we have the time to do it now, healthy food I wouldn’t have time to try out during the school year (DAVID IS SO HAPPY HAHAHA HE’S NOT).
There’ve been s’mores, and water slides, and visits with relatives and friends. I have not eaten all of the leftover chocolate from aforementioned s’mores–yet–and for that I am super proud.
As for the writing? Well, you know as well as I do I haven’t written a single word during any of this.
It’s okay, though. Because this, I now know, is usual. May is insanely busy when you’ve three kids in school, and then it just sort of dumps you into the open pit of summer. But I’m already noticing a rhythm to the day–the kids are content to be home in the morning, so I’ll be able to settle into a solid work schedule soon enough (just as soon as I shake off my school’s-out-for-summer excitement). We’ll have the afternoons for the pool, the day trips, the friends.
I love summer. I love the freedom as much as it overwhelms me. I’m someone who needs a routine, who does not do well being at home for long stretches (nine years into stay-at-home mom life, and NOW I figure this out?). I get a little down if I’m left to my own devices for too long.
But there’s a new book that needs to be written while I wait for word on the other. There are friends and family to see. There is a crud-load of KonMari-ing to do around here (because it works and you should see my closet, except that I got rid of so many clothes I basically wear the same shirt over and over. Got a little carried away, but no worries. IT’S SUMMER).
And, as I type, there’s a child running down the hallway without any pants. So there’s that, too.
It’s summer. It’s an open stretch of opportunity for this SAHM-slash-writer, no matter how scary the expanse looks right now (one child is now crying, one kid is throwing a tantrum, and the last one is…hiding? Smart, that kid). So I’m ignoring the phone (Instagram, you beautiful time suck), and turning off the WiFi on the computer (see: “beautiful time suck”), and getting down to the business of harnessing this kind of freedom.
But first, I’ve got to detach the four-year-old’s fingers from the seven-year-old’s curls. Don’t ask.
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