Summer in Review – Part 1

I have 12+ posts hanging out in my drafts folder that I’m not even feeling remotely inspired to complete at the moment.

I also desperately need to write. I need to put words on paper like a cranky child needs a protein snack and a two-hour nap. And for those non-parents reading…that is dire.

So here ya go:

 

~ I enjoyed many moments with my children this summer. Eight and seven-year-old boys are some of the most entertaining creatures on the planet. My kids made movies, created super-hero villains, drew pictures, made storyboards, came up with crazy character ideas. Piers and Wallace are inspiring and creative, and the only downside I see to these qualities is my fear about whether or not I can actually channel any of these skills while attempting to navigate and balance modern education expectations.

 

 

~ Swim team was a learning opportunity and I’m glad we all had the experience. I learned a lot about swimming as a sport, but most importantly, both kids improved their skills and had some fun in the process and MAYBE expended some of their excess energy, though that’s up for debate.

I was reminded that I am not like 75% of parents who have children in the age range of mine, which is fine as well as slightly disenchanting. And no, we will not be signing up for year-round swim team where elementary-aged kids swim before and after school everyday. HAVE YOU MET US? If it works for you, awesome sauce; we’ll cheer you on…from bed. See ya next summer…big maybe.

 

~ Wallace does not like camp — or any structured activity where he has to do what people tell him to do. He deals with school and conducts himself fairly well for the most part, but after about two days of any extracurricular activity, if things are not to his liking (and of course they never are because no one lets 7yos run things), he loses his shit. Here’s one of many Wallace-isms from Summer ’16:

“Swim meets are like parties except for when they tell you what to do…which is kind of a lot.”

He would have been perfectly happy hanging at the concession stand jacking himself up on popsicles and Air Heads. Screw competing and having to stay in one lane. What fun is that? Lesson learned.

The hard part, though, is that Piers needs more structure, is more competitive (and physically active), so to a degree, Wallace – as the younger sibling, has to get up and out the door. Because of this, we give him the option to participate and allow him (within reason and what’s logistically feasible) to choose what he wants to sign up for.

It seemed that regardless of what we were doing, one kid or the other was not happy. Most of our structured activities were at the beginning of summer, so Wallace had to go more when he wanted to stay home; Piers was happier but Wallace was cranky.

The second half of summer was less structured and we hung out close to home. Wallace was happier, but Piers was restless and missed going and doing and picked fights with Wallace for entertainment.

It’s a balancing act and one I’m working on accepting and figuring out as a mom to kids close in age, both strong-willed but vastly different personality-wise.

 

~ Piers broke his foot. Thank the stars and All Things Holy for removable boots, so it didn’t interfere too much with swimming, but it was definitely not easy for my active kiddo.

 

~ Wallace escaped from Tennis Camp — as in, the only way anyone knew he was gone was because I made an impromptu return to our house because I don’t like to do bathroom business in public places. I opened the front door and there he was — sitting in front of the television watching his favorite episode of Wild Kratts.

He REALLY begged to do this camp, and it was not super-intense as camps can be. Total recreation-league stuff & only two hours a day for five days. I will say that when I returned him to camp, the amazing instructors handled the entire situation very well and I received more followup than was necessary from multiple people within the camp organization. It wasn’t them — IT WAS US. MY PEOPLE DON’T LIKE TO BE BOXED IN…EVEN WHEN WE SIGN UP TO BE BOXED IN.

 

~ I went to visit a friend in Asheville (ALL BY MYSELF)  over July 4th weekend. Totally recharging; It was so nice that I’ve scheduled another ladies’ getaway with three high school friends at Callaway Gardens this fall.

 

~ Lots of beach time. Lots of pool time. I’m so thankful for the abundance in my life and I remind myself of that frequently. Even when circumstances feel hard, there is SO much to be thankful for. One Sunday we spent the day at the beach as a family and by the time I finally parked myself on the sand, I wanted to feed Gil to the sharks and sneak my children into some other frazzled parents’ minivan. I had nothing but a blank notebook and an ink pen in my possession (full-on OLD SCHOOL), and I fumed and scribbled, and after five or so pages, I felt cleansed, and we had a good day. The ocean rehabilitated me as it always does!

 

~ I’m still standing. I even managed to retain my sense of humor. I’m calling it a win!

 

*****

 

I hope to post more about what we read, watched, listened to, and other activities from summer in a future post. The kids are back in school and we’re looking forward to a great year. I’m catching my breath this week but hope to be back posting more regularly.

Thank you for following along even when I’m a spotty poster. I’m behind on replying to comments and haven’t been reading even my favorite blogs lately. I look forward to catching up soon and appreciate your patience.

Enough about me. I want to hear about you! Anything. Don’t be shy.

Here’s some inspiration:  

What has your summer been like? When do your children (or YOU) go back to school? Did you travel? Work excessively? How’s the weather in your neck of the woods, as we say here in the Southern US? 

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12 thoughts on “Summer in Review – Part 1

  1. Thanks for commenting! It was good overall but now I’m feeling a bit stretched financially and need to bring in some extra money. It’s such a balance, isn’t it?! I was able to schedule it so I didn’t work at all this summer other than some of my own writing and editing, but looking back, I’m not sure that was the best move. I was more short-tempered with the kids because we were together so much and I was kind of deprived of down time, something I have to have. I don’t know that I’ll intentionally schedule a no-work summer again, though I do recognize how lucky I am that I was able to do so. Wishing you the best as you enjoy the remaining summer days. It sounds like it’s going to be fabulous!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So glad you had a good summer overall – mountains and beach, nice! Sorry about the broken foot, though!

    I worked a lot over the past 2 months and feel like I missed out on some great summer fun with my older girls, but over the past 2 weeks and for the next 2-3 weeks, I’m making up for lost time – nothing but summer fun on the agenda!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love reading all your posts!
    I’m going to take a moment to mention something I’ve been meaning to mention here: you’re *such* a gifted writer – your writing flows so well, and it’s easy to read; call me a snob, but I can’t STAND blogs where the writing is mediocre, disjointed, and cringe-worthy!

    Okay, now that I got that off my chest, I’m going to cheat and copy the link to my latest post.You asked us what we’ve been up to. The post is about summer fun I’ve been having.

    Like you, I’m deeply thankful for these blessings!

    https://proudlybipolar.wordpress.com/2016/07/29/a-dose-of-summer-fun-after-bullsht-induced-bingeing/

    I don’t think you’ve read it yet. Believe me, I know what it’s like to have a full plate and skip blog posts, even the ones we enjoy reading regularly.

    My kids return to school Aug. 22, and on Saturday we leave for spectacular Lake Tahoe. I’m realllllllyyyyy looking forward to it! 🙂

    I’m also looking forward to your next post!

    XoXo,
    Dy

    p.s. I’m so sorry about your son’s broken foot!!!! If he ever has aches and pains I suggest getting some Boiron arnica gel. I’ve had two knee surgeries & sometimes have knee pain, and I swear the goopy stuff works.

    Liked by 1 person

    • First, thank you for the compliment. I feel like a lot of what I write is extremely disjointed, though I do hope it’s NEVER cringe-worthy. Still, your kind words and expertise speak volumes, and I appreciate you reading and taking the time to share your thoughts. As you know, genuine interaction and feedback mean the world. As much as I hate admitting it, I think I’ll always have a touch of insecure writer syndrome.

      Moving on…I am SO glad you posted this link. I have not read it, AND I never got back to commenting on the whole theatre fiasco — the broken foot was the last straw for me this summer. I was like I am done; kids, we’re checking out of life and parking it at the beach until school starts. I will definitely check out your latest post AND revisit the previous one today.

      Give Lake Tahoe my love and have a marvelous, recharging and rejuvenating vacation!

      And thanks for the arnica gel tip. I have never used that (surprising, because I am all about that sort of treatment.) He appears to be fine, and according to the pediatric orthopedist, it was a very slight fracture that barely showed up on the x-ray. I’m waiting for the shocker of a bill from the whole ordeal… but I’m glad he’s okay. After it was all over and he was cleared to go completely without the boot, the PA that we saw said, “Kids are so resilient at this age. This minor of a fracture would have most likely healed without any intervention, but you never know so it’s good you got it checked out.” ARGH. I have some knee trouble from an old skiing accident years ago, so I’ll have to pick some arnica gel up and give it a go. Thanks for the tip!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are so welcome! 😊

        You’ve been on my mind this past week. I downloaded a sample of Dr. Kelly Brogan’s book on my Kindle *again*. I even signed up for her newsletter *again* LOL!

        I’m really interested to read her book & give it a chance, especially after reading your comment about it a while ago. I know there will be things she writes I don’t agree with, but I can let them fall by the wayside. I also like the fact that she’s into Paleo.(I’m still considering trying the ketogenic diet once the girls are in school- I guess you could call it Paleo’s cousin, perhaps?) There’s a section on her website that discusses how gluten and dairy exacerbate bipolar symtpoms. I’m going to read all the bipolar-themed articles on her site. Why not!

        Anyway, aside from that, thanks for checking out the theater post. I know how busy you are, and I also know that “checking out of life” feeling SO SO SO well!

        After being with the girls all day, between 4:30 & 5:00 p.m. I’ve been rushing off to walk at the redwoods, where I give myself my very own time out. I’m beyond lucky that Craig works at home a lot, and he has been watching the girls for me when I want to run away with Lucy.

        I’m so glad your son’s fracture is slight! He lucked out! Craig broke his foot in a nasty way when he fell down a staircase, and it has plagued him ever since.

        People make fun of me when it comes to arnica, but they haven’t had an ACL reconstructed-knee *and* they haven’t experienced arnica’s magic! I’m just stoked it’s not produced by Big Pharma because a tiny tube would probably cost $50 instead of $10! 😉 ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I love boys that age. My older nephews are 11 (very structured, a future Sheldon Cooper) and 7-going-on-8 (eschews structure and loves heavy metal), and I adore hanging out with them, even if they’re into things I just don’t understand, like Minecraft…and kayaking in murky, possibly-alligator-infested waters…and telling the same jokes over and over again.

    Still, I don’t know how modern parents cope with, as you touched upon, rigid cultural norms about parenting, never mind schooling and after-school stuff (it’s all about activity, activity, activity, and Being Involved In All The Things, and more activity).

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are fun; I’ll give them that. I look at my kids (probably like you do your nephews) & think how refreshing it is to embrace life like they do. And they dive in. As their parent, it really is tough because all that structure and scheduled stuff is not something I love either, yet here I am, in the role of teaching them how to operate in a civilized society where they need to be on time & look people in the eye and know where their important stuff is. As far as the rigid cultural norms — yeah, it’s gruesome but hard not to cave under the pressure to a degree. I feel like my kids did NOTHING this summer, comparatively speaking. They did swim team which was involved and a 6 week commitment, and then that tennis camp, which I thought was perfect in terms of time and expectations, yet one day at pickup I overheard another parent refer to it as ‘this dinky little camp.’ I mean, can we just have more mediocre sports’ leagues for parents who accept and acknowledge that their little darlings ain’t gonna be pro athletes? Let’s all calm down with the specialization. Mine totally love Minecraft. I don’t understand it either.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds like fun and excitement. I can’t say the same. I went through another downward phase of the cyclothymia and am only just starting to surf my way to the surface. I quit going to church band practice and NOBODY ASKED how I was doing or why. Next I’ll quit going to church there. It’s doubly worse it happened in the depressive phase, those scars take longer to heal. Kids and wife started playing pokemon go. I didn’t get a “vacation” while the kids were on summer vacation. I did go fishing once, and may go again Sunday. That is relaxing to me. And maybe I can read a book this weekend. I got into a new band (new to me) Zac Brown and I like them. Music therapy comes in seasons to me I switch fixations, and I like their violin sound. And a week from Monday I have the day off and may go back fishing again. So not all bad despite the emotional wave. Thanks for sharing your adventures! ~DM

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well YAY for fishing and music. I’m sorry things have been hard. I find summer especially difficult because we’re broke. I mean, that’s relative of course, but Gil works a lot in the summer, so I use any funds available for activities to occupy my kids so we don’t have to pay for childcare. I’m fortunate that I live in a vacation kind of area, but a getaway would still be nice & it doesn’t help when you see/hear others going on and on about what sounds like non-stop summer vacations. Maybe that’s just me though. I have to actively fight the envy beast that wells up in me at times. Some days that’s easier than others… Zac Brown Band is AMAZING and one of my favorites. I seriously love them. They’re from Georgia (same as me) and actually toured all over small and big schools during my college years before “making it big.” They are amazing musicians and from what I hear really cool people. I like the way you put that — “Music therapy comes in seasons” — I’d say I’m the same. Thanks for commenting and all the best as you continue riding the emotional wave!

      Liked by 1 person

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