Summer’s End

By | Posted August 22, 2016

Posted in Family Life, Summer | No Comments »

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I’m sitting here at the roller rink watching my kids fly by with smiles on their faces.  It’s our last skate day of the summer.  I’m smiling thinking of today only.  Not tomorrow or next week when they go back to school.  Just today.  And when I think of just this second, I am  happy.

It’s been a great summer.

A happy summer.

And while I hate for the kids to return to school, I don’t have that same feeling I always have in August.  Yet.  I’m sure it’s coming.  I’ve already had the yearly argument on why I’m not homeschooling the kids.  But hey, at least it’s pretty much a once or twice a year thing as opposed to one that affects my marriage nonstop.

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I still use a planner.  I record everything we do in it.  Meals, my workouts, daily activities, feast days. etc.  At the beginning of the summer I wrote a list of things we wanted to do together.  I do the same thing at the beginning of each year.  We did everything we wanted to do this summer with one huge omission.  But I’m okay with that, we will take care of that before this year ends.

My first goal was to spend time together as a family.  We did.  We laughed, we fought, we read, we swam, we played lots of games and had field trips during the week.  All together.  One of the good and bad things about the boys’ school is that it’s not a neighborhood school.  We don’t live close to any classmates so we don’t socialize outside of school with anyone besides a couple of families.  Like I said, good and bad.  I wish my kids had other playmates at times, but I love that they rely on each other.

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One day the kids made swords out of boxes from Costco.  It was awesome.  Snax started it, but soon the art boxes were out and everyone had a shield and sword, even Mari.  I love that creativity.  I can’t believe how much fun they had with those swords.

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We swam so much my kids all ended up with swimmer’s ear.  Mari was our swimming beast, but the boys all improved and tried their hardest to beat her.  They still can’t.  The Olympics have been great for our family, probably most families.  Watching history being made with the swimmers, runners and gymnasts is just incredible.  We’ve all loved watching the competitions.  Last night Alec stayed up watching beach volleyball.  He said he really likes it.  No word on whether its just the girls he wanted to watch.  The kids even had their own family olympics in which they all completed an IM at the pool.  It was nice to see the kid who came in last keep going.  He had no chance to win, or even make third place, but he swam until he was done.  And Mari, the best was her doing butterfly the entire length of the pool despite the fact that she really can’t do butterfly arms for more than five strokes.  But she kept trying, never putting her feet on the ground and her arms would come out of the water just a bit.  Alec even made a medal for her and had an entire presentation where we interviewed her.

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Mari was definitely the one to shine during June because of swim team.  I was so proud watching the boys cheer her on at each meet.  They were so excited for her to win.  Her swim coach even came to a meet to watch her.  You could say we were a bit obnoxious about Mari’s swimming.

We had lots of lazy days.  I was put on rest due to my hip in late May.  I was so bummed about it wanting to workout and start running.  But in the end, it was awesome.  We didn’t have anywhere to rush and that really set the tone for the summer.  Normally, I’m all about my workouts and the kids have to get up and play at the YAC.  Staying home in June meant lots of late mornings in our pjs playing legos or whatever else the kids came up with to play. Some days, they just watched television or played on the computer.  And while I don’t allow that during the year or even much in the summer, I’m grateful we had those days.  Even though the shows they watch are mind numbing, they need the rest.  They need to do nothing.

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We took a trip to SA and NB to start off the summer spending time with cousins in SA and going to the Riverwalk with my friend’s daughter and husband.  I took the kids to Ripley’s Believe or Not and we had to leave early because Snax couldn’t handle it.  We didn’t get to do all I wanted, but that was ok.  We can go back.  We met Lance in NB and just enjoyed my in-law’s house.  We had the best lunch and DQ on the way home.  Maybe that was what set the tone for the summer.  Just being laid back.

We went back to NB to spend time with my in-laws and cousins.  I’m pretty close with most of my cousins and as we get older, our relationship gets better.  The kids see their cousins from Indy about twice a year, but one visit is usually very short.  This visit was nice and the kids had a blast.  I love how easily the kids just pick up with each other.

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Our family vacation was just awesome.  And again, we didn’t do everything I wanted and hopefully, one day I will actually record those memories.  But it was great.  Andrea came along with us and I worried so much that she wouldn’t like it.  She’s an only child and I figured the kids would be just too much for her.  I mean, they always get along, but a car ride across the country is much different.  I worried for nothing.  She had a blast with us and told my mom she can’t wait for next summer!  I think the best part of the trip was that I didn’t freak out when we didn’t do all I thought we would.  Maybe I’m finally mellowing out with my expectations.  I’ll never be someone who wants to just do nothing, but I’m okay that we didn’t finish my extensive list.  There is always another trip around the corner.

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We were gone for two weeks and as we drove home, I realized there were only three full weeks of summer break left to enjoy.  I didn’t get sad.  I enjoyed it.  I’m grateful I have finally realized to live in the moment with my kids and enjoy what we do.  Our days are far from perfect.  My kids fight and are super loud.  But then I can take them to daily mass and they don’t complain or fuss.  There are hurt feelings and tears, but there is laughter and requests to sleep in a siblings’ bed.  It’s a great life and a great family.

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I am sad for summer break to end and for the kids the return to school.  I’ll always think I should be homeschooling these kids.  But for today, I’m ok.  I’m content that we created memories without rushing around in an attempt to fake memories.  They just happened.  I’m grateful I can realize the joy that was our summer.

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