Our family is blessed to experience 12 full weeks of summer.
As much as I lament the incessant fighting, diminished personal time and formidable temps...I am grateful that no one has to get up early, everyone can burn the midnight oil watching movies, reading novels or building Legos, the pool is a given, iced coffee is plentiful and Wednesday feels no different than Saturday.
It's a beautiful break not to have to supervise homework, chauffeur to and from ballet and football, make certain that uniforms are clean and ready, keep track of volunteer commitments or stay on top of field trips and special projects. Instead, we paint, eat grilled cheese, watch the tomatoes grow, build our Free Little Library, run through the sprinkler, try to be kind to each other and count down the weeks of freedom.
Today, marks five weeks of completed summer. We have seven left to go.
And already, I feel a shift in my children. All three now ride their bikes or scooters together to the park and rage epic Nerf gun battles. They can walk into a grocery store and with a mini list, along with a kids cart, grab their assigned, designated items. They know how to operate the dishwasher and the older ones can wash their clothes. They understand that when I yell and use certain words that the shit has officially hit the fan and they need to back the fuck down. I can take them anywhere, including an upcoming solo-8-hour road trip, and trust that with a book and headphones, they'll do just fine.
They are growing up.
And while they are maturing and finding their way in the world, I am wishing that the next 7-weeks would slow down, because at the end of that time, I will be a mother to an 11-year old, 6th grader, a 9-year old, 4th grader and a 5-year old, kindergartner that will be in school all day long. And undoubtedly, I will transform.
But into what?
Do we have to cultivate change by taking on a new job? Moving into a new house? Going on an international vacation? Or, could it be by carving out big blocks of time to simply "be" with me...rearranging the furniture, writing in the office, taking the extra long way around the park, writing a paper letter to a friend who I miss, cleaning the closets, sitting with my thoughts, being quiet.
I feel like any change worth its' weight comes from intentionally slowing down and making decisions based in knowing instead of reacting. And to that end, I am grateful that the wise ones around me, have encouraged to tread lightly in this time and to not jump, but rather to be still and to listen, maybe for the first time, in a long time, to what makes my heart happy.
Their counsel is no different than what I've been doing for the last 11 years with my children, being patient as they shift knowingly and unknowingly, becoming the amazing people they are...trusting that they will jump when it's time without force, pressure or the need to have all of the answers.
Here's to taking the long way around...