Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Momma's Gone to Paris

The best laid plans for a meaningful, enriching summer are not going according to plan. My lovely picture of warm, happy times with my family and husband, a slower pace to my days and finally moving ahead on my book about summer aren't really working out.

It's been a deep breath sort of summer so far. My days have been filled with caring for my mom recovering from surgery. Rushing to and fro to hospitals and rehab, doctor appointments and picking up medicine. Then, dropping my son off to camp early so I can shoehorn some free time in my day. Visiting and praying with my friend who has melanoma cancer in the liver. Oh, and did I tell you I was planning a family reunion too? Very big deep breath.

Last night as I was staring at the TV not really watching, my son came to me way past his bedtime to say, "mom, isn't it my bedtime?"

Now what came next cannot be helped -- the exhaustion must have taken over. I explained that I wasn't his mom. That his real mom had gone to Paris shopping for hats and perfume. The person sitting here watching "America's Got Talent" was really his "sub-mom" filling in to appear as if she was really his mom. So he needed to put himself to bed because the sub-mom didn't know the true ritual anyway.

Mr. Smarty Pants didn't buy the mom went to Paris bit. I put him to bed and ended up falling asleep right next to him. I guess his persistent reminder of bedtime was truly what I needed anyways -- not more TV.

So my summer doesn't look like a magazine cover. Oh well. At least I get to be a blessing to my mom, to truly be present with my friend, to take care of my family, to snuggle with a six year old while giving myself the rest I need.

This season might be my deep breath summer where I really learn to take it only a day at a time. That'as all we have anyways.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Summer Wishing

Now that it's the first week in June and summer stretches before us, it's a great time to make "summer wishes."

This little project is my favorite thing to think about before summer gets too jam packed with BBQ invites, summer camps and vacations. So while things are still in the precious "here comes summer" phase, I like to brainstorm wishes for the season ahead.

This week, I asked my 6 year old son to join in the fun by getting out a piece of paper and either coloring or writing his ten wishes for summer. In an effort to be helpful, I even tried to impose my summer wishes on him (in case he needed ideas of course.)

My oh-so-ambitious suggestions for him included the following: a trip to Carowinds, learning to fish, white water rafting, horse-back riding, going camping in the mountains, learning how to rock climb, going stargazing, etc. After about the 10th suggestion, he looked up at me with irritation and said, "Mom, I don't need ideas. I already have my own!"

So after much study and deliberation with the Crayolas, he came to me to present his summer wishes. I was humbled at his list. It included things like "playing with mom in the back yard, going to the movies, turning 7 and having fun outside."

In my Grand Canyon-style planning, I wanted big and amazing things for him. My son presented me with what he wanted. To be great, it doesn't need to be grand, it can be simple and lovely. In fact, it's even better when it is.

And isn't that what summer is all about -- treasuring up the pure, essential bounty blooming in our lives.

So in keeping with this notion of bounty and pure goodness, here are my wishes for summer. I invite you to create your own!

My Summer Wishes

1. Spend more time in the back yard playing with my son.
2. Savor my summer garden by noticing it's changes day by day.
3. Go to a baseball game and eat hot dogs.
3. Learn something new (maybe how to fish)
4. Take my son to the movies.
5. Re-read Gifts from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
6. Watch my favorite summer movie "The Sand Lot" with my son.
7. Go to the farmer's market to experience summer's bounty.
8. Roast marshmellows over a real fire.
9. Camp out in the back yard.
10. Treasure up the wonder of the season by being grateful every day.