by Chris Carter, The Mom Cafe MOMtor Contributor
You know when a baseball player hits a ball and runs as fast as he can into first base at top speed and just a SPLIT second before the first baseman catches the ball … he slides slamming into the plate with dust spewing on the sweaty, panting player?
Yeah. That’s spring sliding into summer.
Every. Single. Spring. Is. CRAZY. It’s kind of like childbirth really …
When you’re “in it” it’s chaotic, stressful and often painful … but as the days go by, the trauma fades and the miraculous moments are treasured. The school plays, the recitals, the long soccer tournaments, the baseball games and the end of the year concerts. The graduations and the paperwork and all the ‘wrap ups’ of a long year finalized and put to rest.
Any mom of grade school kids knows this birthing process. And as I am flying past moms and crashing into them at all the events, I see the same look on their faces. Fatigue, stress, joy, adrenalin, and sporadic spasms of the frenzied pace.
So before we can organize the mounds of schoolwork brought home, sneak all the lovely crafts into the trash, get the swimsuits fitted and the camp registration done…
Summer has arrived, and I wish I had planned for it in January. I didn’t. So I am twitching and percolating the coffee pot to find my 87th wind that will take me into swim team, summer camps, small group plans, VBS, soccer, etc etc etc… and perhaps a load of laundry or two- all the while having antsy kids bubbling all around me.
Can anyone relate?
We usually have a family meeting about our summer goals and at some point that will happen. I like to create an illusion of structure and productivity so there is some resemblance of balance in our home. When I find the time to breathe and really prepare us for the months ahead, I like to have a plan that includes…
Scheduled prayer time.
Scheduled workbook/reading time.
Scheduled family time.
One camp, activity or sport.
Oh there are so many other ideas I have- but I am a realistic soul. So the list is short and sweet. And if more amazing productive events happen, it’s simply a bonus.
Above all else, I want to plan to make moments that matter.
Those precious memories of childhood summer days. My kids just want to have fun, but I know better. I realize the significance of time and history, and as we make more of it — I want to be able to look back and say:
“That was the summer when…”
Last year I set out to make it the “Summer when we traveled and visited all our family members”. Thousands of miles and rounds of car trips to and from five different destinations, coming back to unpack and reload and go again. We created amazing and precious memories with the ones we love.
Those are the moments that matter.
This summer, so far the baseball player is still digging his heels in the dirt with one foot on first base and the other ready to run. Summer is going to fly, as he is almost ready to take that sprint, so I better move fast. Third base is just around the bend, and I am certainly NOT ready for fall just yet.
Perhaps I should plan for that now. Or better yet, just enjoy the thrill of the game.
Before having children, Chris Carter worked as a music therapist for several years in Chicago’s inpatient psychiatric hospitals. She also managed creative arts and recreation programming for four group homes. In that time of her life, she learned and grew to know the pain and suffering of so many people. She is now a stay-at-home mom and currently spends her days running kids to and from school four times a day, volunteering and keeping the house in some sort of order! She has a thriving blog, The Mom Cafe, where she regularly shares her mothering experience and wisdom.