Thursday, May 16, 2013

Two Weeks From Freedom

Do you ever feel like you're stuck?  Spinning your wheels?  Putting forth effort but getting nowhere?  I do, especially at this time of year.  I don't know about you, but around here the last day of school is about as exciting as opening presents on Christmas morning.  We look forward to it with great anticipation.  From the countdown app on my phone to the paper chain Ashley made about a month ago, we are more than ready for that final school bell to ring.

It's not that school is awful or that we dread it everyday, it's just that we know what summer brings and we like what it has to offer.  Can't you just see it now?  No alarm set for 5:00 AM.  No packed lunch or forgotten cell phone.  No rushing out the door five minutes later than I should be.  No shortened evenings with music practice, the grocery and an oil change thrown in.  During those precious summer months we get to breathe a little easier, move a little slower and enjoy each other a whole lot more.

My girls love going to the library and checking out books, then laying out a nice comfy blanket in the grass and spending the afternoon reading.  They love Shirley Temple movie marathons and game nights that stretch past 10:00 PM.  They go crazy like that in the summer.  They think that's the life!

I like summer for another reason.  Don't get me wrong, I love not having to get up while it's still dark outside and I'm all for hanging out in my pajamas until lunch every now and again, but that's not what gets me excited for those first days in June.  What does it for me?  Time with my kids.  I love every single minute I get to spend at home surrounded by these three girls I get to call mine.

We do all kinds of neat stuff in the summer.  It's not terribly exciting and it doesn't cost us much money, but we have a blast doing it.  One year we designated a specific day of the week as park day.  Every Tuesday (I think it was Tuesdays) we went to the park.  The only thing was we decided we couldn't visit the same park twice that summer.  Each week we discovered a new park.  Some were amazing, some were less than amazing, but we had a great time exploring them all.

Another year we found as many museums and tours that we could.  We toured an ice cream factory (Blue Bell for those of you who appreciate the best Texas has to offer), a dairy farm, and some museums.  Those were great, especially when it was 109 degrees here in the South.

Of all the fun stuff we find to do, our favorite activities are still those that keep us close to home.  We ride bikes and explore the woods.  We do crafts and have family coloring nights.  We play board games and charades.  It's good, old-fashioned fun that never goes out of style because it's time spent laughing and playing together.  

It's in those moments, those wonderful summer days, that the new one learns what family looks like.  It's more than just living in the same house.  It's about laughing so hard your stomach hurts during a game of charades and running so hard during a game of freeze tag that you can't catch your breath.  It's those evenings at dusk when the fireflies are out and it doesn't matter that you're almost forty, fireflies are still fun to catch, especially when you're showing the ten-year old how to do it for the first time.

Yeah, I love summer.  I mean, I can find something so funny at the dinner table that I snort milk out of my nose anytime of the year, but it usually happens more frequently in June, July and August.  

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