Today is August, which means I’ve survived exactly half of my full-time, summertime stay-at-home with T. I promised you I would check in and let you all know how we’ve done thus far, the good, the bad, and/or the whiny… and honestly, overall it’s been good. BUSY, but good!
For starters, as I said above, we’ve been busy. I wish there was another word for it because that’s such a cop-out kind of word, but there’s just no other word to describe it really. Our general schedule has looked like something of a boot camp for preschoolers given how many activities per week (sometimes per day) we have on our calendar. But I tell you, had we not kept ourselves moving here, there, and everywhere, I really think it would have dragged up to this point, and dragged it sure hasn’t. Summer is flying by, so much so that I am still trying to figure out how we are going to get a certain number of summer-only activities in before they come to a close (shaking fists at local budget cuts… summer programs ending first or second week of August, really?! Grr). We have enjoyed some traditional summertime mainstays (concert nights, Bella Terra Mondays, parks with friends on play date Wednesdays, boat trips) all while (re)discovering new spots around town on Fridays (new ice cream shops, farmers’ markets, and museums). All in all it’s been a nice mix of good times and great friends.
But being that crazy-busy and getting too much of a good thing oftentimes leads to malaise, insanity (doing the same thing over and over expecting different results, right?), and/or burnout; about a week ago, T and I hit all those walls, and we just had to dial it all down a bit, step back, and relax. After a week stacked solid with family visits, overnights away from home (together and apart), double-shift play-date days, and just general over scheduling, I decided to shelve some plans we had mid-week with the usual play group and go more mellow and one-on-one with T. Duh, why didn’t I do that sooner than later?! The respite did us both some good; turns out we just needed a break from the summertime shuffle to get our groove back. In fact, changing up tempo a bit translated into better eating, better sleep, and better moods – again, for both of us (and C, too – I am sure us being happier and less rushed rubbed off a bit) – and it helped us all recharge for more good times ahead. Overall the experience reminded me that no matter how much fun there is to be had, making space for some downtime, even if it has to be scheduled, becomes essential so the good times can roll more smoothly (and with a lot less whine – you know what I’m saying, parents, and cheers to that!).
Another nice distraction that came for T last week – and at the perfect mid-summer point – was a school field trip to a local play place (it was the same spot he’d field tripped to last summer right after his first day of school, so familiar and enjoyable memories both). Though T isn’t enrolled for summer session, so long as I tagged along, he was more than welcome to go. So I asked T if he was interested in seeing his friends from school and going on the field trip. Based on his response, I’d say he was more that interested: he was ecstatic. Once we got to school, he ran off from me pretty much right away and mixed it up with his friends as if it was just a regular old school day. When we arrived at the play place, he again ran off with his chums while I happily sat and watched him climb, jump, and slide for 90 minutes. T sat by one of his friends on the bus ride back, and when arrived he asked me when he was heading back to school. “Not soon enough!” I wanted to shout, but I just said, “About another month.” While T certainly would have gone inside and stayed out the remainder of the day (and week), eventually he mustered a kind goodbye to his school mates and teachers for another month… and if it’s anything like this past month it’ll be Sept. 1 before we both know it.
Overall, I’d give us about a B+/A- on our summer session together up to this point. We’re having fun and a lot of it, but many times it’s absolutely been at the expense of our familial sanity, so we definitely need to keep that in check better during August. Yes, it’ll be September before we know it, but regardless of how much fun we’re having, it doesn’t mean we have to be in a rush to get there.