This week I got the school supplies for my kids, and it was a bitter-sweet reminder of the imminent end of the summer break. My inside voice whispered to wave adieu to waking up without the alarm and to the sense of no urgency that filled most summer days.
The beginning of the season was different, though. I was gripped by an anxiety of spending two full months with kids at home. Whatever angle I looked at this reality, ‘downtime’ was not what came to my mind. So I started the break with a bleak possibility to relax, but soon I got used to the laid back lifestyle of NOT making early morning breakfasts or packing lunches (even though the never-ending demand for snacks was draining).
Most summer days started with kids saying ‘What do I do now?’, ‘I am getting bored.’ Once over that initial hump, the kids found some work to keep busy, from watching television to practicing their tackling skills. There were days when I pulled my hair, spent a longer time in a restroom, and practiced meditation to seek calm. As I took to these techniques to find my zen I envied my hubby, who would walk around the house armed with his voice-canceling-headphones oblivious to the commotion around him. I tried the same cool headphone technique once, but it did no good. I could still hear my kids fighting, complaining and whining. I realized that the real technique to fade the outside noises come from within. And I am not there yet.
Albeit surrounded by the ruckus, I felt a subtle comfort in having the kids around.
For better functioning in these unscheduled days, my hubby and I maintained some routine for the children. We relaxed their bedtime, but not later than 10:00 pm, their meal times did not change though they could snack and have desserts more often.
After all, the best way to cool off in summers is surrounded by water, eating popsicles and ice creams! We had the kids spend some time doing educational workbooks and puzzles to prevent the phenomenon of summer brain drain.
On reflection, all in all, it was a great summer. We traveled. We saw beautiful landscapes, shared laughter with family, caught some fireflies and went for movies. We spent time on board games, video games (the winner always), playdates and sleepovers. There were times when we indulged in nothing. These dull days drove me and my kids nuts, but they are a necessary evil to appreciate all the action around us.
Contrary to my initial apprehension, the two months of summer have gone by in a blink of an eye. With only two more weeks of summer break remaining, I want to squeeze every ounce of goodness from it. Carpe diem my friends!