I have great expectations when it' comes to summers. Unfortunately, my expectations remain the same even though my children have more and more packed into their schedules. So far, our summer has consisted of two things: karate and softball. There has been very little else that we have done. Monster has karate 5 days a week. The only reason he's not there more is because the studio is only open 5 days. The thing is, he loves it. Karate is his passion. Then there is Sunshine and softball. Sunshine started a new league this year. When we started, I truly thought she wasn't going to like it because it is definitely more hardcore than her previous league. I was incorrect. She loves it! I've watched her, and her entire team, come so far this year. They are out there having fun, which is so very important.
Here is where I have to give a huge thanks to my father-in-law. We honestly could not be doing the things we do this summer without him. In fact, I've been so spoiled with having help that I may not be able to figure out how to get kids places come fall when he leaves! His help has made all of the difference. I don't have to worry about how I'm going to get someone to or from an event. He's there to take whichever kid wherever they need to be! It's also made a huge difference to both of my kids. Sunshine actually has someone other than just me and Husband to watch to her softball games. She gets sad because she's one of the only kids who only has her mom and dad there to cheer her on. This summer, she's also had Grandpa! Monster is loving having Grandpa here because they have time to hang out. For the most part, Grandpa has karate duty. Once a week, they do dinner, just the two of them, and hang out playing chess and other games after karate. It is such an amazing experience for Monster. I honestly don't know how parents with no help do it. If it wasn't for Grandpa, I would have missed so much this summer by having to run kids from place to place
With both of my kids having such a great time and doing things they love, why should I be upset about summer expectations? I put a ton of pressure on myself and our summer. I know that we have very few summers left. I want to make them as special as possible. I can't tell you how much I have cried over the fact that it's mid July and we haven't gone to the zoo yet or that we missed out on picking strawberries this year. I'm upset about it because, very soon, my kids aren't going to want to go to the zoo with me. Soon, they aren't going to want to pick strawberries. They are growing up so fast and they are filling their summers with more and more things that are just for them. In the next few years, they are going to have jobs and girlfriends/boyfriends and hanging out with Mommy is going to be thing of the past. I want to fill their summers with memories so that when they look back on their childhoods, they can recall that every summer, we would all go to the zoo. Every summer, we would pick strawberries (or blueberries or raspberries ...I'm slowly forgiving myself about missing strawberry picking since there are other fruits out there to pick). I want them to look back at their summers and not think of how busy they were, but rather how carefree summer days were and how much we enjoyed being together as a family.
When you look at the big picture, I have only 6 more summers until Monster goes off to college. Six. I don't know how the first 12 have flown by so quickly. And I look at this summer and can't believe we're over halfway through. I want to slow time so that we can fit every last fun thing in. I want them to be able to sleep in until noon, but still have time go places, to swim all day, to laze around the house. I guess what I really want is more time.
With all that being said, we have had an amazing summer so far. It's been busy, but good. We've done soccer camp, Camp Invention, Young Naturalist Camp, art classes, picked raspberries, gotten ice cream, made s'mores, gone to baseball games, gone swimming, and more things from our list, plus lots of karate and softball! There are only 5 weeks left of summer. Almost every day has something scheduled, but I plan on enjoying the moments we have together. And I WILL get a zoo trip in!