It’s summer. Day one.
Hubs last words before heading out to work this morning were “have a great vacation!”
Our oldest was offered a ride to his first day of basketball, then a ride to his first day of junior golf league.
The girls and I headed out for a morning of activities. First, the gym. Let’s be real. The gym membership hasn’t worked for me for the past two summers. I barely went at all, and by the end of both summers, I told myself I’d never do that again, that I’d put my membership on hold for summer because it was a complete waste of money. But this summer, I decided I’d add our oldest daughter and give that a whirl. She’s way too old for the child care center, but exercise is one of my lifelines. I need to workout for my sanity. So today was day one at the gym. The oldest already mentioned a bit of boredom, but we’re going as long as she can stand it. Or mama’s gunna be a crabby vacationer. After the gym, we hit the post office, which was followed by a quick lunch at Taco Bell, which was followed by a stop at the pediatrician’s office to drop off health forms that need to be signed for my daughter’s upcoming church camp. Next was a call to the music store to verify that her trumpet, stand and lesson book would be delivered to school in time for tomorrow’s first band lesson. They weren’t sure. They looked it up and nothing was showing up in the system. Daughter tells me the mass delivery was already made last Thursday, that all of her friends already have their horns. I’m not sure whether to believe her or the representative I talked to at the store mid-last week. We shall wait for the return call to confirm either way. We drove to Target. I didn’t want to make another stop, but truth is, we had enough toilet paper for two more trips to the bathroom, so that Target stop was a do or die. And yeah, we picked up some bug spray for “natural protection” at camp. After all that, we drove home and dear daughter literally jumped out of the car to go visit neighbor friends the second we pulled in the driveway.
The three year old fell asleep on the way home. I’d promised her a regular pre-nap episode of Sofia the First, but since she’d fallen asleep, my goal was to get her in the house as quietly as possible and straight upstairs for nap. She hadn’t used the bathroom in three hours, so I had to wake her enough for a fight to go “potty” on the toilet before nap time.
Oldest daughter was gone visiting friends.
Son was still gone at golf.
The three year old was “napping.”
So I broke out my computer to start a blog post. I knew I didn’t have much time at all. An hour of quiet at best.
Then she came down. “I want some oranges. Can you get me some oranges? I want lemonade.” “We already ate,” I said! “Remember we ate at Taco Bell?” So much for the argument. She kept asking. I couldn’t deny oranges. And I wanted to ensure a full tummy for sleep. So she won. I broke out an orange and asked her to sit down and eat it. “After you eat the orange, it’s time for nap,” I reminded her. “When you wake up from nap, you can play outside with friends!”
Back to “nap.”
Back downstairs to my laptop. Uploaded a few pictures, started a post I’ll no longer write. Heard the three year old walking around upstairs.
There she was. Up and about.
“I want some lemonade,” she exclaimed.
I put her back in bed and got her a glass of water.
She refused it. “I want lemonade!” she exclaimed.
“We’re not having lemonade now. We’re having water now. You can have lemonade after nap,” I responded calmly.
I left her on her bed, doubtful of a nap ever happening at this point.
Within a minute, our oldest daughter came in the door with her neighbor friend. They needed my help with their box house outside. I pressed save on my blog post. I’d only uploaded three pictures at that point. Not even close to approximating the dream or vision I had for that post. I helped them in their play box, closed the cardboard door, and reminded them to open the “windows” and not stay in it too long. “It’s hot today, and I want to make sure you don’t overheat.”
Back to the computer for a minute. Maybe less. I don’t think I got anywhere on that post.
Girls came back inside, went upstairs, then came back downstairs. “Guess what?” said dear daughter. “What?” I said. “Maisie’s awake upstairs! She’s playing in her room,” exclaimed my oldest daughter. She and her friend giggled. Apparently, they thought it was cool, funny. They asked WHY she wasn’t sleeping. “She knows there’s a whole lotta fun stuff going on around here today, I guess.”
The girls went back upstairs and began entertaining the three year old. They’re up there still. Talking and playing. Doors shutting and opening again. “Come on sweets, come on Maisie.” I imagine they’re going to do her hair now. I’ll go check in just a few.
I surrender the beautiful blog post I was writing. Not going to happen today. I surrender the thoughts of all the blog titles and posts I’ve been drafting and dreaming up in my head the last week of school and moving into this first week of summer. Posts on friendship and community, fighting for our God-sized dreams, our identities when all the external stuff is stripped away, a commemorative post marking my niece’s 5th birthday and all the trauma that led up to her birth, a post where I ask you what God’s working out in your life right now. I think about the writing group I’ll have to miss (again) this week, for the 3rd time in a row, because the hubs has work activities and I have an out-of-town baseball game for our son. I think about this season, how it seems I’m supposed to be here, surrendering the dreams, surrendering the visions I have for myself, for the NOW, the here and NOW. For the kids while they’re little. While they’re here. While they’re still playing and dressing up and going to golf and basketball and trumpet lessons and singing Sofia the First cartoon songs. While they still want me to come with them to the park.
I feel guilty for dreaming something for myself. It’s a tearing of myself in two.
I surrender the beautiful blog post for a simple one I can type as fast as my fingers will write in the in-between kid moments.
They’re downstairs now. The three year old came down in the blue “bow dress” my older daughter wore to her dance recital in preschool. The “baby” is nearly that same age now. The bow dress fits perfectly and is her favorite. “It’s time for memories,” the older girls prompted her as she came downstairs to show me her loveliness. “It sure is,” I said as I gave her a big hug.
They’re here now. In the room next to me, trying to determine what to do next. It’s loud in here. They’re playing kazoo. My fingers are flying, determined to get anything out on this page.
It’s a balancing act.
This isn’t vacation. This is a season.
A season of surrender. To what is. To the now. To living for today. To enjoying and finding peace where God has me.
Yes, they are small. This is their vacation. My words will wait. A different kind of beauty is waiting. She’s tapping me now. “Can I go outside with the girls?” Then, “Guys, guys let’s go outside. Come!”