Monday, August 16, 2010

Summer Review

This would have been a few, short paragraphs, but after I wrote it, I realized that a Summer Review isn't a Summer Review until its littered with photos.  Happy Summer to you!

At the beginning of the summer, I was nervous. 


After having spent so much time alone with my girls as babies and toddlers, it was strange to have them go to their preschool and kid's day out programs.  I didn't know what to do without them, and I felt bad about letting others take care of them.


Then, during the school year, we figured out a rhythm of work and play that made sense for our days. I had gotten used to having time to myself a couple of mornings a week, and the girls loved the activities and friends at school.


So when summer loomed before us with nothing but unstructured weeks of long days during which I would be expected to occupy the kids by myself, I started to worry. 


Would I be able to keep them busy enough?  Engaged and entertained and active?


And I wondered when this shift from wanting NObody else to spend time with my kids turned into me wanting MORE people to help me fill my kids' days. 


I felt guilty that I was suddenly anxious about having no time to myself. 


But more practically, I worried about errands and grocery shopping and housecleaning. 


Those few hours meant a lot of easy work would suddenly become more difficult. 


Basically, I was dubious that we'd have an enjoyable summer together. 


I didn't trust myself to know what to do with my own kids, full time. 


Even though they'd only been gone for a few hours a week during the school year, the change seemed monumental.


Now, we're at the end of the summer. 


I'm happy -- so happy -- to report that it was fun


I actually can't remember another summer that I've enjoyed so fully. 


I didn't feel burdened by the constant presence of my rambunctious girls, which was a relief. 


I'm glad to know I wasn't capable of those feelings towards them, and glad to know that I CAN still be a full-time mom, even after being spoiled by the luxury of early preschool programs.


And at the same time, I'm ready to embrace again the routine of the school year. 


Our unstructured summer has been lovely, but I always had the promise of preschool's approach to help me get through our lazy days.


I'm rambling, I know.  I'll stop soon. 


But thanks for sticking with me as I remembered this summer -- so I can hold on to why I've loved it so much.

13 comments:

  1. Oh Sarah, you've really got such a great attitude. Because we all know some moms who want to run away when they contemplate having to (gasp!) be around their children for more than a few hours at a time. Because it is hard. I just love people like you who tackle it with gusto and determine to make the most magic out of the inevitable stress. I'm sure they'll remember these great summers just like you will.

    (P.S. Is it me, or do Mia and Katherine look all of 16 in that picture?!) (P.P.S. Forget I said that if it just made you hyperventilate. Ditto to Emily if she's reading too :D)

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  2. it looks like you guys had a great summer.
    what fun pictures :)

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  3. It looks like you had a wonderful summer! I'm glad it exceeded your expectations! And I LOVED seeing all these pictures!

    Now, go enjoy those dropping temperatures for awhile!

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  4. I just wrote about this myself, but I'm just facing a week alone with my boys. I work full-time so I'm not used to hours and hours of parenting solo. I'm usually always with them and with my husband. And I fret over how to entertain my boys and how endless the days will feel. Today was day 1 and it went well for me.

    I loved your reflection on the summer and enjoyed the photos! This will be a lovely memory, and thankfully a positive one!

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  5. Sarah, they are such sweethearts! I adore that first photo :)
    So glad summer was more than you hoped for!

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  6. I think this may just sum up a pretty perfect summer.

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  7. Summer...so fun when we were kids...who knew it could be so stress inducing??!! I agree with Lenae- your girls will remember fun summers filled with laughter and joy, and none of the fretting...unless they somehow read your post....

    Loved the pictures! You're right, it wouldn't be the same with out them!

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  8. Adorable pictures! What a summer of fun it did turn out to be! :)

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  9. So glad you had such a great time - your photos tell a fun story!
    Its daunting being left to entertain kids after other people have been doing it for a while - believe me, its even worse here in the UK because you can guarentee that it will be rainy and cold for most of August - this year is no exception!

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  10. Ugh, I'm not ready for school to begin... I love having my "baby" at home.

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  11. These are such great pictures- and memories for your babies! Right now I'm feeling the same anxiety about school STARTING - like, how will I get us all ready and out the door in the mornings?? I think any kind of unknown situation is particularly stress-inducing to mamas with little ones. Until we're IN it, and then we realize we can so do this!

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  12. I'm so glad it was a beautiful summer for you guys.

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  13. I teach and like to think that I get the best of both worlds. I job that I actually like (most days), and long seasons off with my kids.
    BUT, at the begining of summer I was a little afraid of spending ALL DAY EVERY DAY ALONE with them.
    Work just started again this week....and I am missing them!

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?