Thankful Thoughts – Embracing Summer

This week’s thankful thoughts are about embracing summer, but they’re also about nothing.

Literally.

An entire week of nothing.

With the exception of a single Facebook event, my entire week is blissfully schedule free.  It is the first week I’ve had in 11 months where there is literally nothing written on my calendar.

We may have started summer vacation long before you did, but I feel like we’re just now getting to the good part.  By now, you may have forgotten how much you were looking forward to summer break.  You may be counting down the days until school begins.

As for me, I’m just now embracing summer.

I haven’t always embraced summer.

When Watty was first born, I stayed home with him for 10 weeks with absolutely nothing to do.  There was day after day after day of empty calendar staring me in the face.  It was the most boring summer of my life.

It was empty.  I was restless and bored without direction.

I hated it.

I embraced the full calendar of a working mom like a drowning woman clutching a life jacket and returned to work.

When Watty was two, I became a stay at home mom. It was early summer, and I quickly began a countdown until the calendar would be filled with MOPS and women’s bible study and Mother’s Day Out.

I spent a summer at home alone with my two boys in diapers.  It was long.  It was lonely.  And it was boring.

I endured it.

In the fall, life began anew with a flurry of activity and schedule.

Thus began our slow dance of pre-school days.  Stay at home Monday was followed by a gentle parade of one-a-day activities to fill the week.

Except for summer.  My carefully arranged dance of days would grind to a halt as virtually every organized activity disappeared from my calendar during the months of June, July, and August.

By mid-June, I was longing for the structure and socialization that comes from a full pre-school schedule.

I tolerated it.

For years, I felt I functioned best as a mom when our calendar was not empty.

In secret, I think I fear the emptiness.

I feel like I need the safety net of knowing there are deadlines to be met and schedules to keep.

There is this secret part of me that fears I will let my children run amuck until midnight, feed them cereal for dinner, and allow their brains to rot in front of a four day marathon of animated pants-less rodents.

And yet…

I am looking forward to a week with absolutely no demands.

With rare exception, I have about six weeks of blank squares on the calendar.  It looks like bliss.

I’m craving time for my children to get so bored that they discover new creative ideas.

I’m craving space for ideas to grow and expand in my head until my spirit can no longer contain them… until they must be written down and made real.

I’m craving a slower, simpler rhythm.  I yearn for a simpler dance of days.

I want to pile up day after day where time is measured in something longer than 15 minute intervals of efficiency.

I want there to be time to listen to my children dream, to teach them how to turn summersaults in the pool, and to learn from them the secrets of their childhood.

I am thankful.

Thankful beyond measure that I get to stay home with my children.

Thankful for weeks of empty days that can be filled with the treasures of our own making.

Thankful for the precious gift of spending empty summer days at home with my children.

summer should be embraced

Tell me, what are you thankful for today?

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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Comments

  1. I wish I liked summer more. I want to like it. And there are parts of it I do like, but overall I feel like I am better with the school routine. This is a great post and really made me think!-Ashley
    TheDoseofReality recently posted..Some Firsts Are Better Than OthersMy Profile

    • I confess I struggle with it. Living in Houston doesn’t help. It was sauna-like by the 9am today. We all end up hibernating and hiding from the heat. I’m learning that embracing the emptiness really does help.

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