This morning everyone was out of the house by 8:15 a.m. School has started and we survived the summer. Some of you may remember a blog early in the summer about all my summer ideas. I thought, for the sake of honesty, that I would tell you how it went. We all have seem-to-be-somethings that we set up on a pedestal and try to be like. I know I have seem-to-be-good-moms that can make me feel bad about myself with just one look. Sometimes I compare my worst moments to their shining moments, which always lead to shame and guilt about my parenting skills. I don’t want to set myself up as a seem-to-be-good-mom with all my grand ideas of how the summer should go. I thought I would step off my pedestal and give you an update of what actually happened.
1. Don’t throw chores out the window. The chores did not go out the window. What did fade by the end of the summer was the incentive program I put into place. They were supposed to get a certain number of poker chips for each chore. But I often forgot to “pay” them. Plus as the summer wore on, they weren’t very incentivized to do extra chores for extra chips. But most days, the chores were done without much arguing or complaining.
2. Have a library day. I think we went twice…We had a great time with the Science Guy who came and went to a music one that the kids enjoyed. But didn’t make it every week.
3. Field-trip Fridays. We actually did this one! We went to the Discovery Science Center, Hatcher Dairy Farm, Percy Priest Lake, Henry Horton State Park, Cumberland Park in downtown Nashville, Adventure Science Center and rollerskating. Although there was weekly complaining from my oldest son (age 12), I think he had fun. In the pictures he looks happy. I told him that this year I would make him go, but next year I don’t think I can. But maybe after this year he will want to go next year. Ha!
5. Service projects. Kyle did a Lemon:Aid Stand early in the summer and raised $46 for Blood Water Mission. I did email the local charities I wanted to help and got schedules. But alas, it didn’t work with the schedule. It just didn’t happen. However I did at least take the first step and at least ask. Maybe next summer I can take another step in the right direction.
So that’s how my summer went…Some of my crazy ideas worked and others didn’t. But next summer we get a chance to try again to create the perfect summer for our children. NOT! Summer is never going to be perfect. Don’t let the seem-to-be-good-moms tell you it can. We will fail every summer if “perfect” is our standard. When my kids go back to school I’m always wondering what their “Summer Vacation” essays will say. I’m afraid they will say that we didn’t take a vacation because we couldn’t afford it. Or that we didn’t go anywhere fun except the community pool. Or that their mom made them do chores all summer. I’m tempted to judge the summer by how much money we spent on vacation, how many moments of boredom my children experienced or whether or not their brains rotted away on video games. But summer is so much more than that. Did we make some good memories? Did we spend more time than usual together? Was I present physically and emotionally with them? Did our children feel loved? Yes! We had a GREAT summer!
How did your summer go? When you look back, what worked?