The Final Countdown is Now!

This week is my children’s final week of school before summer break. Wait…Let me allow that sentence to sink down into my psyche.

Deep breaths. Where did this year even go?

I find myself somewhere in between anticipation, excitement and joy over all the fun to be had together, and a growing pit in my stomach over the two-week adjustment period they will need to remember what it’s like to be with each other ALL OF THE TIMES.

I’ve got the summer-break adjustment period down to a science people. For some reason it takes exactly 14 chaos-filled days for my kids to work out all their frustration, offense, annoyance and grievances, be nice to one another, not whine or throw fits over not getting their way. It can be hard to find personal space when everyone is around each other constantly. *cough, cough, middle child*

As a SAHM, I feel some pressure about summer break. There is a huge part of me that wants to let my kiddos do whatever they want to do all day every day  i.e. watch tv and play video games (while I attempt to do what I want). But I know better. I’ve done that in the past and it does NOT go as well as it sounds like it will….  I can admit right now that I will let my children play video games for more time than I will like to admit later. (P.S. I am quickly entering the uncharted territory of an older child not in school for summer.  I don’t even KNOW what I should be guiding him towards doing with his free time? Teach me oh Mommas! What in the world do you do with big kids in summer?)

Due to the 14-day adjustment period, I have learned instead that it is best to have an every-other-day activity planned or at least hoped for. Things will never go exactly as my heart desires, but instead of being rigid and letting the walls close in, I’m praying this year that I can be grateful, hopeful, open, and courageous enough to try something I wouldn’t normally try.

My favorite middle kid last summer at the pool.
My favorite middle kid last summer at the pool.

My goals this summer are pretty lose: read as many books on my wish list as possible, spend a gargantuan amount of time at the pool with my kids and their friends (and their friends’ moms), and have deep conversations with my kids. Summer time is my heart; it’s my favorite season because of all the outside time and options available. And not having to stick to a rigid schedule is totally glorious. It feels like the promise of a long sabbath to me.

Plus, there is an awesome community of Moms who are also SAHMs that I plan to trek with. That’s another goal of mine; to deepen existing friendships and press in/allow others to press into me. Keeping kids active is more fun when you can do it with other Moms. Community makes all the difference for me and for my kids. It’s great for them to experience boredom and think creatively about what they are supposed to do about it! (Please allow your kids to be bored Mommas and Dads. It’s a good thing!) Plus it challenges me when I see what other Moms are doing with their kids and all the “free” time they suddenly possess!

I love hearing little kids’ conversations over summer break too. Take some time to eaves drop on those precious relationships our kids are building together with other kids. It makes great dinner time conversation questions.

Just a few more days before the chaos and fun begin…may the Schwartz be with you fellow parents! May we be grateful, courageous, open and hopeful to what summer could bring in our relationships with our children.

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School Daze and New Beginnings!

Cecelia
Cecelia

 

Cooper and Chase
Cooper and Chase

This. I blinked and here they are, all ready for school and eager for what’s ahead. Preschool, First grade and Fourth grade.  As I searched through the incredibly unorganized photo files on my computer to post these pictures, I found stuff like this hanging around.

August 2013 hugger

My sweet girl Cecelia in her Christmas dress! AH! She melts me...
My sweet girl Cecelia in her Christmas dress! AH! She melts me…

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All he wants for Christmas!
All he wants for Christmas!

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Chase's FAVORITE thing to do is cuddle with his sister. It's so adorable
Chase’s FAVORITE thing to do is cuddle with his sister. It’s so adorable
This is what Cecelia did....
This is what Cecelia did….

Oh…be still my heart! I treasure these little people. They are a delight to my heart. I love that I get to be their Mom and watch them grow. I love seeing their little personalities develop and it makes me want to dance and sing to see the lovely people they are becoming. I pray that as I send them out a little at a time in these school days ahead of us, that they feel celebrated for who they are. I pray that they feel blessed to go and grow. I pray they feel the swelling pride I have for them. Because they are beautiful creatures.

And if I feel this way about my little babies (who are clearly not so little) then it stirs my soul to think about how God feels about me.

I have NO idea what’s ahead for me personally and I’m working on being satisfied with that mystery as I enter this new stage of life where my children are at school and I’m….what am I?  I’m working on not “proving” myself as a woman to the world because I do not have to do that! I am both enough and not too much to Jesus. My life feels so connected to their lives. That quote about how having children is like having your heart walk around outside your body, that’s so true. I have three pieces of my heart hanging out in this world!

My future is so entwined with theirs that I am feeling all sorts of sweeping emotions and I am daring to dream about what this looks like for me.

These are exciting times and it is with joy that I send them out and accomplish my list of things to do today.