Another school year has started. What?!? How did the summer go by so fast? It seems like only yesterday both mine and the kid’s Spring semester was finally OVER! I remember last February wishing for May, wishing for finals to be over and done with; wishing to have the summer to do all the things I had planned in my mind for the kids. At some point during the spring semester I was ready for it all to be over with.
I remember being frustrated with one of my professors, overwhelmed with the amount of reading that all 4 of my classes required and quite frankly, I was just tired of homework! I honestly believe that sometime during the Spring semester, I mentally checked out of school. Maybe that’s because I had been in school for long without a break. I am the poster child for year round school. The last time I had a summer break from college was in 2011 when Bubba was born and I did not even attempt summer classes with a newborn and a toddler (Bella). Since then, I have been in school non-stop (with the exception of holiday breaks) and let me tell you, Bella was so over it.
Last summer I had no intention of taking any classes but when I started reviewing my courses and calculating my graduation time I decided to enroll in two courses anyway. By doing this, my poor Bella was heartbroken. She absolutely hates me being in front of the computer doing homework, she hates that I don’t have as much time as I would like to be silly with her and Bubba. My heart was so heavy and conflicted because last summer I made her a “Pinky Promise” to not take classes and I broke that promise. When you break a promise to a child it is like you totally destroy their world. Their faith is lost and so is their trust. Bella moped all summer last year. I had (2) five week courses and they were both so intense that I had little time for anything much less be a “fun mommy”. I spent weekends working on homework and reading and Bella spent her summer wishing I had kept my promise.
When it came time to register for classes last Fall, I again re-evaluated what courses I needed to take to meet my graduation goal for 2016 and then I loaded up on classes. I did this not because I enjoy having my head buried in Psychology, Anthropology & Sociology books. I did this because I had a plan. My plan was to add one extra class each semester so that I could take THIS summer off.
I made this decision because I thought, “wouldn’t it be great not to worry about homework and due dates during THIS summer and just be able to spend the summer evenings and weekends solely concentrating on the kids and making memories with them.”
In May, I submitted my final paper, all my tests had been taken and this summer’s possibilities were endless! I wanted to Be Present. I didn’t want the only childhood memories my children had of me be ones where my nose is buried in a textbook. I wanted to be able to play when they want to play, read when they want to read, snuggle in bed and watch a movie when they wanted to without having to make sure that I have done all my homework first and I am not missing any deadlines. I wanted to Be Present and make memories with them. I had so many plans forming in my mind about what this summer would be like. I wanted to make this a summer they would never forget and always cherish.
So what was on my “Make This Summer Fun” List: go to the zoo, go to the beach, go to the movies, have pajama days, play board games, continue reading & math lessons, summer camp, go to the pool and most importantly, RELAX! Some of the items on our “to do” list did not pan out. It rained almost every day in June so the zoo was a no go. Then it was unbearably HOT in July & August so again, the Animals would have to wait.
Next on the list, “go to the beach”. Nope. Not happening. There was a funky parasite in the water that was making people sick in the Gulf of Mexico so we decided to forego the potential illness laced waters. We did have our fill of movies and EVERY DAY was a pajama day. Some days we woke up and went back to bed in the same clothes. (we lounged on the sofa or in my bedroom having Netflix Marathons)
We did kick off the summer with a Kenny Chesney concert. How can you not be in a summer time kind of mood listening to “Summertime” and “No shoes, No shirt, No Problem”. His music is MADE for Summer!
There were also board games to be played and lessons to learn when it came to losing with grace. (Bella does not like to lose at board games but you can’t win them all sweetheart). We worked off & on refining our reading and math skills. Bubba even worked on recognition of his letters and numbers. Bella went to summer camp and loved it! Riding & grooming horses was the highlight of her experience. They both spent so much time at Grandma & Grandpa’s house, I really thought they lived there over the summer. Grandma & Grandpa have a pool too so they spent their time in the water. We basically had a “staycation” and they kids were happy as clams.
Our only trip to the beach was to take a ferry ride. We drove around the island and ate ice cream at our favorite shop. We took a boat tour of the city water way. We played tourists. The kids made & ate lots of pizza! We had playdates with friends and sleepovers as well. We were the first people in line to “wake up the magic” at our local Disney store. We watched the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team every time they played. There were also many trips for snowcones on hot days!
As for me, I didn’t accomplish anything I planned for myself. I had a stack of books I wanted to read. I read 1 book. I had projects I wanted to do around the house and as of today, they are still waiting for me to do them. I did do a bit of deep cleaning here at the house and de-cluttered (in an attempt to get organized). I watched a LOT of Food Network (have I mentioned that I LOVE the Pioneer Woman) & I lived vicariously through those looking for their forever home on HGTV’s House Hunters. I did not watch a single show that I had DVR’d during the spring semester (I need to catch up on Agents of Shield & How To Get Away With Murder) Mostly, I just gave myself a mental break. I needed this summer to not do anything and doing nothing was perfect!
I know what my career goals are after I finish school and I hope that all my hard work will pay off. I wanted this summer to be a preview for what I hope will be the first of many summers home with my little ones. This summer I promised to be present for the kids. I think I made the most of my time with them because they aren’t going to be small for long.