Summertime Downtime

This last weekend was Bea’s first dance recital. After heading to the rec center every Friday since December and seeing countless renditions of her own Puff, The Magic Dragon dance done in our living room, we finally got to see the culmination of all that work.

It was as sweet and uncoordinated as a three-year-old recital could be. Two girls stood on stage without moving; one girl exuberantly did the motions in an over-the-top manner. Bea sang all the words and kept an eye on Miss Maggie and her fellow dancers.

This week is our last week of preschool. As of Thursday, we’ll have a wide-open schedule for the summer. Even though I’m available to work at the museum, our hours are cut back and we are able to really enjoy summer vacation.

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Cleaning up the garden

We really have no plans until the end of June and I’m so looking forward to parks and playdates and hikes and swimming. Or not. I’m looking forward to lounging at home and last-minute decisions.

I think we all need it. For as social as Bea is, she also loves her downtime and I think it will benefit us all to quiet our minds and our days.

I’m sure there will be a day when summer camp and more activities will be necessary. When doing nothing doesn’t mean backyard adventures but unending boredom.

It’s interesting being back on the school schedule. When I was teaching, I’d spend my first week of summer doing absolutely nothing except reading trashy novels on the deck and sipping lemonade. Later, I’d wade into a Russian novel or something of equal length, but at the beginning, it was all about unwinding. When I first stayed home, our days and weeks blended. Summer was like any other season, only hotter.

Now that summer means something again, I’m looking forward to that first week off – of doing nothing and hanging out. Of instilling the idea of rest in our family. That we need to embrace and listen to the rhythms of our days. So, we’ll plant and hammock and find small things to get us out of the house each day for an adventure.

We have friends who already have every single week of summer filled with organized activities. Their family thrives on classes and camps and being busy. We have other friends who are already packed and ready to go – they’ll be out of town nearly every weekend and for a few weeks at a time. For us, while we have a few road trips planned and hope to camp a few weekends, we also thrive on tending the garden, walking to the park and to dinner, and sitting outside, watching the girls explore.

I may be singing a different tune at the end of August, but for now, I’m ready for summer-mode.

How about you? Do you like to keep summers busy or laid-back?

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