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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Conversations with my Kids

I’ve gotten into the habit lately of unloading the dishwasher immediately after I wake up in the morning (and while I wait for my coffee to finish steeping). It’s a good and productive reason for me to stay in the kitchen while the kids are eating breakfast. No-I don’t eat breakfast with them because I need a little time to wake up before I eat. That’s a separate post someday…

This morning, while I was unloading the dishwasher, the kids witnessed me pulling out the whisk attachment for my Kitchen aid mixer. Cecelia said, “Mommy, what are you stirring?!” as I leaned over to put it away. I replied, “nothing sweetie, I’m just putting it away, I’m all done with it” to which Cooper responded, “um, yeah, it’s been a really long time since you’ve used that mom.” I smirked at his innuendo of some sweets to eat because Cooper has a sweet tooth like the Grand Canyon. “Sweet heart, I used the mixer yesterday. So no, it hasn’t been that long since I’ve used it.”

“Yeah,” said Cooper with a very down-turned mouth, “but it has been a long time since you made cookies”.

Have I mentioned I have a foodie blog?