Yes to Lazy Summer Days

This weekend I had my semi-regular meltdown about the state of our playroom. I pulled out a garbage can and started throwing in all of the broken goody-bag toys, the loose papers, the pens without caps, and the stepped-on plastic Easter eggs. I threatened taking away all presents for every birthday and Christmas forevermore since we clearly don’t need any more junk in our home!!!

IMG_4633It was at this point Frank decided to pack up the girls and head to Lowe’s to buy a couple replacement basil plants after our unexpected snowstorm. Once they were gone, I turned on my mid-30’s white-mom Pandora station and started really cleaning. Without the girls, tackling the playroom doesn’t take all that long and I soon had the toys put away and under control.

I even stopped cleaning with enough time to begin my new book and eat lunch all by myself in the quiet. When my family returned and Elle was down for her nap, Frank went outside to clean up the garden while Bea and I tackled the puzzle box. We put together all the puzzles and threw away the ones with missing pieces.

Time sitting together on the floor, project in front of us, chatting together. Bea’s love language may be physical touch (and at least one foot was touching me knee the entire time) but mine is quality time and this filled my “love tank” with my little girl.

This is the last week of school. Preschool graduation is on Thursday and then Bea can officially call herself a kindergartener, something she has been longing to do since January. Our June is pretty quiet. Maybe some camping trips. Frank’s parents may come for a visit. The pool opens. But really, I’m trying to keep our time open.

I know that summer days can be especially long and that we won’t want a loose schedule for too long. I also know that we’ll get into a rhythm because we always do. But for now, I’m looking forward to not rushing, to not nagging to get out the door, and to remembering that while the days are long (sooooo long sometimes!) the years are flying by and I want to savor these summertime moments.

I’ve seen families create summer fun lists – things to check off before school starts. These sorts of lists stress me out. I lose sight of the fun and only think of the list. Maybe when the girls are older and need more things to fill the time, this will make sense. For now, I want to just say yes as much as possible. Yes to swimming and movies. Yes to backyard camping. Yes to taking the light rail to get ice cream downtown. Yes to bike riding and parks. All of those things or none of them, we’ll see.

I have fond memories of unstructured summer months. July holds a couple of formal activities but overall, I want to establish those bored lazy days with the girls now. I know that there will be long days when I long for school to begin. But now I’m looking optimistically ahead, hoping that my quality time tank will be full before Bea starts a new journey to full time school.

What are your fondest memories of summer? Do you like structure or open schedules? And, how do you keep the playroom clutter under control?!

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12 thoughts on “Yes to Lazy Summer Days

  1. Your playroom scene made me laugh. I’m not raising children but I can remember my mother declaring war on our house when she’d come home from long shifts. Glad you got a little reprieve. The idea of long unstructured summer days sounds best to me. One or two good getaways…my husband and I are looking forward to revisiting a favorite beach with our dog in July. We order seafood and eat it in the back of our Jeep while watching the sunset. Little bit of heaven 🙂

    1. Oh wow, that sounds incredible!! There is something so incredible about FRESH seafood…. And to eat it after a sandy, sunny day in the back of your Jeep? Magical!

  2. Kudos to you, Annie. Loose structure in summer can be such a relaxing thing. We actually don’t have any summer vacation plans as a family this year. It’s just the way it worked out. The boys will both have some camps and activities, but I’m trying to make sure they have time to just BE as well. I tend to like structure, and my guys need some structure, but with them getting older, they need some time to call their own as well. I’m trying to balance my need for structure and their need for chill time. 🙂

    I spent every summer at the pool as a girl. I’d ride my bike there and hang out most of the day. When I was young, we’d play kickball in the back yard with neighbor kids, or ride our bikes places. I loved it.

    1. Thanks, Jeanne! I forget that sometimes walking to the park is enough structure for my girls. I need to remember that when I swing from doing nothing to overplanning…. 😉 Enjoy your time at home!! I’d imagine when school “really” starts, there’s something wonderful about sticking around during the summer….

  3. Annie, this is beautifully written, and your description of cleaning the playroom is a gem.

    We don’t have kids, but there are dog toys…and field-expedient dog toys. For some reason Ladron The Service Heeler positively loves to crunch up empty bottles that once held,of all things, isopropyl alcohol. She’ll cleverly pull them from the trash, and return them to the house, where (chewed to a triangular shape) they are as caltrops for unwitting bare feet.

    Sorry it took me so long to get here to comment. Rough week.

    1. Thanks so much for your encouragement, Andrew! Ha! I needed this reminder that it’s not just kids who undo our cleanliness. 😉 My dad reminds me (again and again) that I’ll wish for the mess and noise one day. One day….

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