We survived summer! The Cherubs aren’t in school quite yet, but #1 is at soccer tryouts right now, and #2 spent the morning at an 8th grade leadership workshop she didn’t want to attend, and we are close enough to resuming normal that I’m calling it done.
Guess what? This summer didn’t suck! I’ve shared before that I am bad at summer – bad with planning, bad with figuring out the structure our kids need, bad with attitudes that pile up as the days go on. And while some of you shamed me (“Didn’t you ask for this?”) and a few of you mocked me (“How hard can it be???”) most of you CAME THROUGH and told me, “Fill those days right up and don’t apologize!” So that’s what I did.
Probably the best decision we made was to send the Cherubs to a sleep-away camp several of you recommended for two weeks. We spent all their college money on hiking boots and waterproof camping gear they’ll never use again, and it was worth every penny. They got to have an experience that was exciting, structured, fun, adventurous, safe, and theirs to have without us. And Steve and I got to have two weeks to not do all the things parents are told we absolutely must do. It was glorious.
We didn’t eat dinner at a set time each night. Some nights we forgot it entirely. We stayed up late, came and went randomly, skipped church, and took a midnight walk along the beach because the moon was so bright on the water that it seemed a sin to drive by. We talked about things at all different times of the day, not just after bedtime.
We realized some grave mistakes we’ve made in our family building endeavor…and had the energy and bandwidth to course-correct and imagine a new way forward. And we solidified our core: God first, our marriage second, kids third, work forth, church fifth. Those ducks had been flopping helter-skelter across our pond for months, fighting for dominance. This time gave us a chance to wrestle them back into a row, and it’s made such a difference.
I know some of you are waiting for a newsletter I promised back in the Spring, and that may still happen. But trust me when I say that from an events standpoint, not much happened this summer that would justify space in your inbox. I hope this next season will be different!
I almost sent a book newsletter, because reading was THE unexpected joy of these past few months. I read a strange and eclectic assortment – a multi-book series by David Baldacci about a CIA sniper (LOVED!), the new essay collection from David Sederis (weird), a memoir by a woman who billed herself as “The Very Worst Missionary” (funny), another by a recovering drug addict (raw), and a surprisingly engaging novel by James Patterson & Bill Clinton (Who knew???). It was so fun to open up the gates and read anything and everything that caught my attention without regard to whether it would inform my thinking in some important way or generate good sermon material.
This will sound so cliche and obnoxious, but I guess I spent this summer breaking out of a bunch of patterns that weren’t working, and finding new ways to live. I’d accumulated some bad habits. Not on purpose, but because I was figuring so much out on the fly and I wasn’t sure what else to do. I’m not all sorted, yet, certainly. But I’m excited that the possibility of change is available even now, as I’m at the age where I used to believe life was set and unmovable. Thank God that’s not true. More on all of this in future posts, I hope. For now, I’m glad to be back in the blogsphere, and curious to see where it takes us.
Happy almost-September, friends. The best season is almost here!