Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summertime & Growing Up

Summertime is a bittersweet time around our house. On the first hand, I get to spend more time with my kiddos playing, laughing, having fun, and doing all the things we didn't have time to do during the school year.
 On the other hand, I am spending nearly every waking minute with my kids.  I'm not going to sugar coat it.  I, a say-at-home mother with 4 pretty fantastic children, am NOT, by any stretch of the imagination, maternal.

I don't spend hours on the Internet searching for fun activities to do with my kids during their sunny days and snuggling them every chance I get.  OK, I do snuggle a little bit.  Can you blame me?  Look at that face of his!  He's adorable! :)  What make motherhood rewarding for me is the knowledge that I am doing something truly important: Teaching my children to be happy, healthy, productive parts of society who will give of themselves to make the world a better place.
 What I enjoy about summer break is that time the older kids get to spend with the younger kids.  We have a pretty wide age spread between the olders and the youngers.  Essentially, we have 2 families of children.  The now-college freshman and her brother, the high school freshman, and then we have the kindergartner and the pre-schooler.  The funny thing is, though, that their personalities are so similar, it's like I'm raising my older kids all over again! Except this time I can fix some of those pesky mistakes I made the first time - or make my older kids experience the frustration I had with them when they were younger. Oh the poetic justice!!
 In the meantime, we will spend our summer playing games with one another, cleaning up the perpetual mess in our home, sunning ourselves alongside the kiddie pool, going to track meets for the olders, and recouping from an exhausting school year.
 There are no big vacations planned for the first time in years.  No going to Nationals for Track, or Family reunions requiring 12 hour drives in the Suburban.
 I think our biggest adventure will be a camping trip in July an hour away.  And maybe a couple family hikes.
 Jake spends his time constantly exploring and learning, although few words, if any come out of his mouth.  So I'm concentrating on reading him lots of sound books that require him to make sounds to mimic the animals.

 He's discovered art, and movies, and playing in the kiddie pool.  We'll make a major attempt at potty training this month, along with swimming lessons.
But for the rest of the summer, it is about living life simply and taking the time to enjoy the little moments with the ones who mean the most in our lives.  Because before we know it, they're all grown up and leaving the nest.
Happy Graduation, Elisha!  We love you!
~Mom & Dad

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