Camps for this summer are filling up and we need to get our kids registered. But the summer I plan in February is never the summer I want to live in July. In February, we’re in work mode. Spring is the long second act of our year. During these months, the plot of our lives is moving forward very slowly–another big test tomorrow, Mike’s work dinner tonight, we were late this morning because everyone slept in. February and March are day after day of obligations, duties, and toughing out these cold, grey days.
It’s hard to imagine a summer that will be any different. Better fill up the calendar with activities! Lego camps and obligations and swim team because what the heck else would we do together, twelve hours a day? Registering for all this proactive! I’m filling in every week on the calendar!
But then summer comes and I remember. Sunshine, for one. Friends who come to swim after lunch and don’t leave until the stars are out. Afternoons when the kids discover the Play-Doh in the back of the art cabinet and we mix the colors together for hours and then throw it all away. Late nights of family movies and mornings of dry cereal and my kitchen looking like a frat house. Days when the house is a wreck but when everyone so relaxed.
This rhythm is so comfortable, and fits us as well as the bathing suits we pull on every afternoon. We pile on the couch and read magazines and American Girl catalogs and I don’t want to be any other place else except in this house, with my four chicks nestled under my wings.
Then suddenly some VBS or sports camp barges into our quiet schedule, and we have to comb our hair and put on real clothes. Or, the sleepaway camp I signed my kids up for in February is coming up the following week. And we’ve become such a close-knit tribe, I can’t imagine them spending the night with a friend, let alone spending the night in a cabin with ten strangers.
Perhaps this is why summer activities fill up in February. Maybe the army of moms like me all have this problem. During the school year, we’re living six different schedules and going in a million different directions seems comfortable. Of course, the void of June and July should be stuffed full of swim meets and character-building camps. We must keep going!
But I already know my July-self will have to forgive my February-self for committing us to all this stuff.
Because if it was up to my July-self, we’d spend the summer reading books together by the pool.
And, maybe, that doesn’t sound so bad.