"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it." ~Russel Baker
(I need to look into whether any of my kids are writing summer quotes under pseudonyms.)
Just a slight warning. You might want to cover your ears. I'll be tooting my own horn (loudly) in the next few paragraphs. I've been away from my blog for way too long so I lured myself back with the thought of bragging about how wonderful I am. (Oh, wait! That's what Facebook's for.)
Summer is in full swing here, which means I'm finally able to focus on all the areas of our home that get neglected during the school year - with an occasional break to swim and eat Popsicles just so I don't get reported on the Mean Mommy Hotline.
I may have made a rash vow while under the spell of the first morning of sleeping in, but I decided to go back to my Preschool Mommy days and start working alongside my children vs. giving them a list and going back to check (i.e., criticize and rant about their lack of character, interspersed with lectures about the kids in Ethiopia who work in the blazing son with a sibling on their back, just to bring in enough food for the next meal - all with a smile on their face, singing like the African Boys Choir.)
It's actually been working out well. The weeds in the yard are dwindling as my children and I yank them while we discuss politics and oil spill solutions. (If you look very, very closely at the picture above you can see our nicely weeded yard just beyond the pool. Can't see it? Trust me, then. The weeds are not there. Just like my camera, which I left in N.C., which is why I'm using all these old pictures that barely relate to my post.)
Of course I have my ulterior motives. (Sanity mostly.) I didn't want my summer to start with a bunch of whining and complaining (from me.) I needed to get a lot of stuff done but I also needed to reconnect with kids who had spent way too much time with other adults (aka teachers).
Something else I've resurrected from the Things I Wish We Still Did file is Table Time, where we linger after breakfast to have morning devotions and pray ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication) around and around the table. We're working through an amazing Bible Doctrine for Older and Younger Children book, so I get to listen to my children's perceptions of the things I hold dearest - and practice not rolling my eyes or sighing when I hear some of their answers.
We're reading aloud again. And listening to fun music. And swimming until we're exhausted (and clean.) We've already had a trampoline accident, which is one of the earliest signs of summer in Florida, and I have the ingredients to make some killer edamame succotash (and I'm not being literal when I say that....No matter what my boys may say) and everyone has picked out something they want to learn to cook this summer from one of our dusty, unopened cache of cookbooks.
I'm sure my summer plans will get off-track before long. But for now I'm enjoying my first two weeks of success and tooting my own horn for the foresight to remember my past failures and try to trick them into forgetting where I live this year. So far, so good.