July 23rd, 2010

A Month Into Summer and I’m Still Sane

Angie McCullagh

I won’t lie. I was nervous about summer-leven long weeks of the kids at home with little to no daily structure, and work I knew I’d need to do regardless of how few free hours I could wrangle.

We’re twenty-two days in, now. And, so far? I’m enjoying it. There’s no setting my alarm for 6:30, no frantically making lunches, gathering folders and library books, no rushing.

We’ve visited my parents in Michigan, frolicked on the beach, started our local library’s summer reading program, picnicked, and basically lazed our way through the mostly sunny, warm days.

Yes, Milo and Belle have fought. They’ve whined. They’ve come close to driving me over the precipice of sanity once or twice. But the difference is, I have the time, patience, and energy to sit with them and discuss things, to discipline without falling back on my standard threats and elevated voice.

I feel present. I feel, for the first time in quite a while, like a good mom. Today, for instance, we made ice cream. I let them measure ingredients, something I’m usually to frazzled to allow. They scooped rock salt and poured vanilla, they mixed, they made a mess.

But it was fun. Better than fun, it was a delight.

In seven short weeks, Milo starts second grade and Belle embarks on her kindergarten career. She’s stoked. I’m stoked. But I also know it’s the end of these sweet days together. That the next time my children and I convene for a school break, it’ll be cold, brittle December and, though there’ll be gingerbread houses and hot chocolate, there will not be the relaxed, sun-infused days we have now.

When September rolls around I’ll be grateful to send them off. I’ll have a list as long as a beach towel of things to get done. But for now, I’m reveling in the new freckles across my kids’ faces, the sight of their small feet in flip flops, and the stretches when I can sit down and actually see them and hear them without worrying that homework has yet to be done.

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This Weeks Tip

We did a review a while ago of dry shampoo. Here’s an alternative when you don’t have time to wash, but want to get rid of the oily-ness. Sprinkle some baking soda on your hair, comb through then quickly fluff your hair with a blow dryer. (note: You can also add a little scented baby powder to keep your hair smelling clean!)