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Summer Mom is Tired
And we are still out of yogurt, kids
I can see it now that we are six weeks in, but Summer Mom™ came out of the gates, perhaps a little too hot this year.
We started our Schools Out For Summer anthem the first week of June, with a visit from our cousin that came with ziplining, jet skiing and tubing, and Harry Potter themed crafts. Then there was a boys-only camping trip, a four-year-old birthday party at the lake, homemade popsicles, a school-wide summer picnic, and I cannot forget the summer workbooks I downloaded and printed for each of the six kids, so that this was not twelve weeks of all play and no work.
This all brought us to approximately Day 14 (out of something like 80) of summer. And mama realized she set the pace a littleeeee too quick.
Next up was Jordi’s soccer camp, which took place for three hours every morning at a very family friendly park but still, there’s a good amount of juggling to manage all of the children that are not in soccer camp, too. Thank goodness for carpool. Right after that, we sent Harper off to her first ever overnight camp. Actually, her first ever overnight anything, since–much to my extrovert daughter’s dismay–we aren’t a sleepover family. But I think it was that week, even though we were down one child, that I started to really feel summer. Like how many outfits the three littles were going through every day and the driving all over town and the re-applying sunscreen and the constant head counting near the water. And the food. Oh my gosh, the food. Are anyone else’s sweet children eating, like, all the time? I was leaving a Vox one morning for my mastermind group and, no exaggeration, I think the toddlers interrupted to ask me for yogurt four, maybe five times? And we had none. So four, maybe five times, I answered them, “We are out of yogurt, guys,” and even with a growingly stern voice, it just was not computing. But being out of food is pretty much on brand for us this summer. Everyone is scraping the bottom of the pantry barrel for sustenance at this point but tell me, what’s actually wrong with having Pirate’s Booty and three popsicles for dinner? It’s 93 degrees today and I think we earned it.
And just for a public display of excellent parenting and obvious concern for hygiene, Jordi and Harper went off to another camp this morning, and Jordi still has the temporary tattoos he put on his forehead and cheek yesterday. He’s also wearing the swimsuit bottoms he slept in after swimming in the lake in the evening. So, you know, make of that what you will. The pile of laundry I need to fold is currently taller than him, and I just found towels in the back of the van from when we went swimming at a friend’s pool SIX DAYS AGO, still wrapped up tightly and wet and smelling lovely.
It’s fine, everything is fine.
The thing about summer is that it is just too fun, too full of everything that feels right in the world, to stop. We had the best 4th of July at the lake–our friend Dave smoked a huge brisket and my mother-in-law put peanut butter M&Ms (!!!) in the Puppy Chow and the kids laughed until they couldn’t keep their eyes open anymore and every single detail felt like grace. We’ve been going seven years strong with our 4th of July crew and like a child feels about Christmas, I’m sad we have to wait another year for the next time. Last weekend my uncle taught Jordi to do an excellent freestyle stroke in the water and now he wants to do triathlons with his dad, which is the actual best. The toddlers have spent hours and hours and hours in the backyard, driving the hand me down Power Wheels into the fence and jumping on the trampoline with the sprinkler underneath. We’ve read, at least a little bit. Braylen had his last speech therapy with our beloved speech pathologist, who worked with Cannon and Ava before Bray bear. We’ve watched the Super Mario movie I don’t know, at least a dozen times. We’ve caught up on doctor appointments. I’m finally getting a thorough skin cancer check. Life is moving at a clip that it just can’t in other seasons of the year, and while there’s not much balance–we seem to be either flying high with squeals and giggles or falling apart and rolling on the floor in a tantrum because we missed naptime–I wouldn’t trade this season for anything.
So yes, Summer Mom™ is tired and there is nary a vegetable in sight. But could this mean, possibly, we are doing something right?
A few things to tell you about
I sent a picture to my husband last week after I did a pretty tough bike ride, an image of my two knees wrapped in ice packs and my new “house shoes” on the ground. I honestly cannot walk barefoot without pain anymore, which I have self-diagnosed with the help of Google as plantar fasciitis. I’m telling you this to let you know that I am getting older but mostly to confirm that the house shoes have been an excellent investment and I don’t know, I feel pretty great about saying I have house shoes at all. Feels very adult of me.
I just finished Unreasonable Hospitality and, as a sucker for a good leadership book, I absolutely loved it. Very readable and practical, but also just flat out inspiring–and with a hint of Save Me The Plums vibes. The book’s context is the restaurant and food industry, and for someone who considers the Nordstrom Cafe about as upscale as I’ve ever eaten, it’s fun to take a peek into a world I don’t know.
Five out of six children give these vegan fudge brownies a ringing endorsement. (The sweet sixth child doesn’t try anything new, but I know he would have loved them.) I recommend making a pan for yourself and hiding it behind the milk in the fridge, because they really are delicious and since they are made with garbanzo beans the calories don’t count.
Before I go, I would be remiss if I did not relay to you some photography tips from the family pictures we took a few weeks ago. Please see below.
(1) Encourage kindness amongst siblings. Hair pulling doesn’t photograph great.
(2) Maybe leave dad one free hand so he isn’t powerless to stop said hair pulling without dropping a toddler.
(3) Ask children to bite their nails off after pictures. Or before. Just not during. That also doesn’t photograph great.
(4) + (5) Remind everyone there is nothing on the ground of interest.
(6) Take one million pictures. One of them will turn out great (enough).
Keep summering, friends. And let’s all try to get a nap in.