It's been a struggle to write this post.
I have stopped and started it many times since the challenge was issued.
And then I figured out why it was so difficult: the season of life I am in doesn't really allow for what I knew as "summer".
Summer is my favorite time of year. Everything is so green, the vegetables are so crisp, and the days are long and beautiful (and hot – I mean I do live in Mississippi). I was born for the summer. I feel that I come alive when the earth starts waking up from a winter slumber. I can honestly tell a difference in my attitude from winter to summer. Summer is my jam. (Speaking of jam – freshly made in the summer is the best!)
But something happened as I became an adult. Summer became just another temperature notch on the gauge. Summer was just another day at the office. Talk about a slap in the face. Thanks adulthood.
Let's back up. I can list the things that make summer memorable because I have some great summer memories: church camp, ice cream trucks, swim days, sidewalk chalk, rollerblading, sleepovers, etc. The list could continue on and on.
But my kids don't get to have that right now. At least not in its entirety.
So I feel like a failure as a parent. I can't give my kids the full meaning of summer in my book.
My husband and I both work full time outside the home. My kids go to a day care. But summer looks just like fall, like winter, and just like spring. It’s the same routine for us. We have to maintain consistency in order for everyone to be functional day in and day out.
So as I thought about this, I threw a pity party. Just a small one - no guests. I want to give my kids the summer they deserve. I want them to have fun, play outside, stay up late, eat ice cream for dinner, draw with sidewalk chalk, blow bubbles, go swimming.... all of the things that make summer.... summer.
Mom guilt is rough peeps.
Then it hit me.
We do that. We just do it between the hours of 6pm and 9pm Monday through Friday and all weekend long. We take our opportunities to be outside and have fun. It just may not be an all-day event like some (and bless our daycare's heart - they have water day, recess, movie/PJ day to make it feel like summer). Then I realized that we aren't alone. There are so many people giving all they have to give their kids a "not so bummer summer" :) They are making moments of fun where they can. Pockets of fun, if you will. And the kids see it. They see the fun - they have fun.
So I don't have Pinterest approved activities every day, but what I do have is me. I have me and the time I choose to give to them. I have to choose to stop comparing our experiences to someone else's. What we have works, and the kids are happy. They are experiencing the best we have to offer.
And that is all any of us can ask for.
My crew supporting the Memphis Redbirds last Saturday evening on the lawn!