Summer of 2018.
I'm going to be straight with you here – we didn't do anything extraordinary, we didn't do anything special or unique, we didn't go on vacation – we were (dare I say it) boring as can be this summer.
And guess what?
It was the best summer of my mom life.
Last summer we moved to a new town, so it was a really crazy summer of new beginnings for all of us. New town. New house. New friends. New everything. I was so caught up in making sure that we had the best summer with all the chaos, that I still wanted to make sure we did our annual summer family vacation to Cape Cod. We had gone every single summer before that and I didn't want to break the streak. I'll never forget being there last August and just feeling this sense of why-did-I-do-this-to-us? It had already been a crazy summer and I just single-handedly added to it. I was stressed. My husband was stressed. My kids were stressed and nervous for school. It was madness. I vowed right then and there that next summer (summer 2018) would be different.
And I stuck to it.
We made zero plans.
No vacations. No trips. No crazy weekend jaunts anywhere.
The summer was all about us, our family.
Since I work from home a majority of the time, the summer is usually me trying to manage the kids' schedules during the week. I’ve always been able to adapt my work schedule as best as possible around swim team, tennis lessons, swim lessons, arts & crafts, pool time, beach time, friend time… you name it! To be honest with you – for me – it's the best part of the summer for me. I love being present and home with them. Growing up the daughter of 2 teachers, I always loved having my mom and dad around in the summer – so that’s always been a goal of mine. I wanted the summer to be fun for the kids, but I just knew it couldn't be about much more than what we usually could offer.
I looked at what we had around us and knew that I would make all these things work for us.
Who needs a Paris vacation?
Who needs a tour of Italy?
Who needs to drive up and down the west coast?
(As much as I wanted to, it wasn't going to happen.)
For the first time in a long time, the most basic summer things became the most extraordinary for us.
I watched my kids this summer transform right before my eyes in so many different ways. I watched them have fun right at home. I watched them do little and big things that I knew would make this summer worthwhile.
I watched my 13 year old son William break the 24 second mark in his 50 yard freestyle.
I watched my 12 year old son Alex learn to do a 1 1/2 off the diving board (and nearly kill my nerves).
I watched my 11 year old son Ben make new friends at our pool club and really bond with kids that weren't just his brothers.
I watched my 10 year old son Henry become an independent little guy this summer, which was cute to see. As the youngest of 4 brothers, he's usually always attached to one, so it was nice to see him branch out. I also watched his learn to flip, too!
I watched my 5 year old daughter Victoria go from being terrified to put her toes in the big pool to going off the diving board on her own by the end of the summer.
I watched my 4 sons really become good friends this summer – at home and at our pool club. They’ve always been close, but as they started to get older – there’s a friendship bond there that I just love and just appreciate. You can’t teach it, you just have to hope for it.
I just watched my kids this summer. We were boring and completely in a routine, but it was the best thing we could've done. It was all about FAMILY. We stayed right at home, enjoying our little state of Rhode Island and our pool club and our beaches and each other. We did nothing crazy or spectacular or extraordinary, but it was everything!
Late nights at the beach.
Pool swimming in the middle of the afternoon.
Tennis matches on shady courts.
Walking to town to get bagels.
Playground fun with new friends.
Ice cream truck stopping.
Grilling at home (almost) every single night.
Sleeping with the windows opens and enjoying nighttime breezes.
It was a summer that I will always remember because it was a summer of just us. It was a summer of absolutely nothing, but it was a summer of absolutely everything.
Sometimes you just need to make it easy for yourself.
Sometimes you just need to tune everything out and just make it about you and your family.
Sometimes the summer just needs to be time off without a million and 10 things to do.
Summer 2018... you were pretty boring for me, and to be honest – it made it the most perfect summer of my mom life.