This summer so far with the kids has been filled with the normal, every day summery things; afternoons at the pool, trips to the park, ice cream on the front steps, and races under the sprinkler in the backyard.
The kids wake up in the morning with the big question of the summer:
“What are we doing today?
My response almost always evokes a response of sighs and groans from my little eager and hopeful faces.
“Nothing. Absolutely nothing.”
I am sure from their perspective, this is certainly the most boring summer ever.
We have no vacation plans. There is no Disney trip to count down to, and the smell of the ocean and the feeling of white sand beneath our feet will remain in our dreams. Their only view of an airplane will be from the ground, longingly looking up.
But I am unapologetic. In fact, I am grateful for this “boring summer.”
The last few weeks have been so good for my entertainment thirsty children.
They have been forced to slow down, shut off the tv, and put down electronic devices, and use their imaginations.
Elaborate forts have been designed and built with passion and gusto. Books have been read and re-read. Even abandoned dollies have been found and brought back to life again.
Knees are decorated with bandaids, dirt finds it’s way underneath fingernails, and grass stains have made their permanent presence on jeans.
New skills have been acquired; a little girl has learned how to swim, a little boy has learned how to use his pocket knife, and another little girl has clocked in more dance time than we ever dreamed possible.
But more importantly, they have been learning how to get along with each other.
What a valuable tool.
Their characters have been strengthened, admittedly, with gritted teeth, and crossed arms. I won’t lie, there have been times where their constant conflict and ongoing resolution has had me biting my tongue and pulling out my hair.
It was so stressful at one point that, I may have wished summer to be over. A thought that I have never had in the past before. This mothering gig can be so hard sometimes.
But they needed this time to grow together.
Without the distractions of school, social outings, and other activities , they have been literally forced to be each other’s playmates. They have been re-learning kindness, and cooperation. They have been learning that it is ok to be wrong, and that it is even ok to default to the other’s feelings. They have been re-learning forgiveness and grace, and have had ample opportunities to put both into action.
They have been stretched, grown, and challenged. (As have I)
And they are better siblings because of it.
So I am thankful. I am thankful for their most boring summer ever.
What a beautiful (and free) gift to have given them…