One of my favorite aspects of summer is the laziness of it. Yep, the downright, lay on a chaise, sip on a sangria, float down the river laziness of it all. It's great. If you want to go somewhere - great! If not? Great! The sun is out, the air is warm, life is good. Summer is by far my favorite.
I knew when my husband made the plans to go on his trip up north that I would need to change what our day-to-day looks like around here. No question. Summer laziness, (well if that's what you'd like to call it as a mama), was probably going to be put on hold for a bit. We were all going to need a bit of a distraction from the fact that he was going to be gone for over a week.
So, I made plans. Set in stone plans, and flexible plans. Plans that were made ahead of time, and some that were made the day of. Yet, I knew that as a *mostly* solo mom (my mother in law came into town to help me for a couple days), I was going to need to be proactive.
We visited a new park with friends.
They got soo-o muddy. :)
We went to a local "village" that the kids had never been to. There was a carousel...
We took walks (and bike rides) on our path *almost* every day.
We played outside a lot! Lyriel has begun to walk so she showed off a lot.
Grandma Nettie came to visit for a couple days which was amazing, fun, and a huge help. The kids just love her to pieces, as do I.
We went to another older park we'd never been to. It was awesome with big trees, rickety play structures, and a bridge where we had "boat" races with leaves.
Grandma Nettie discovered a "yarn bomb". The kids loved it.
I got to snuggle Lyriel every morning before the other kids woke up. Precious moments.
We had a playdate with some wonderful friends. The kids drank tea and ate two whole packages of cookies. Oh. My.
I made a dress for Seraphine. She modeled it.
We enrolled in the summer reading program at the book store and the Library. We actually finished (lots of reading, folks!) and then claimed our prizes.
Honestly, it went really well despite the fact that a lot of the time I was parenting alone.
Initially I was really nervous about it. We have four kids... That may not seem like a lot to some, but to me it's the most we've ever had and they're busy little people. I was worried about the moments that we'd have while my husband was away. I was worried about meals, I was worried about shopping, I was concerned about forgetting, maintaining a cheerful outlook, making sure things were not only clean, but taken care of. I was worried about being enough for my kids.
Without my husband around it forced me to do things differently. It forced me to look at things differently too. I had no scapegoat. Without someone to pick that one thing up from the store on the way home. Without him available to hear about my frustration during the day I had to take matters into my own hands. I had to run to the store by myself. I had to choose to be cheerful even when things weren't going well.
It was really good. I missed him... a lot. I was ready for him to come home at the end of the week, but it made me parent differently which was a very positive experience. Instead of just taking the summer days as they came we got out, we planned, we went to so many new places. It made me reevaluate how I want the rest of our summer to look.
I truly believe a lazy summer is still wonderful and there are certainly days where we will stay home with nothing on the agenda. I think that's a good thing. However, there are definitely a lot more adventures ahead of us this summer. I know there are several more parks we've yet to visit, not to mention the petting farm, the museum, geo caching, the water park, the splash park, the frozen yogurt shop.... (you get the point).
Summer is awesome.