I think one of the biggest reasons is that all three of my children were home. And not only were home; 2 out of 3 of them came home. There's a big difference. For many years they were home- and my daily task was to keep them entertained, drive them places, lifeguard the pool, slather on sunscreen and kiss away mosquito bites. That's all changed now as they are 21, 19 and 15 years of age respectively. And when some of them live at college and are away from me for most of the year, it's a treat to have them all back under one roof again. (and that roof better be mine if they know what's good for them.)
Secondly, since I work during the school year as the assistant librarian for two elementary schools, I don't work in the summer. It's an incredible treat. The summer of 2009 I got the chance to be a full time mom again - something I hadn't had the luxury of staying home and doing for the past 9 years. And I absolutely loved it! I find that full time mothering to older children sure is a lot easier than to toddlers.....
Thirdly, everyone seemed to have a great plan for their summer and kept really busy. My oldest took classes at community college in the mornings and worked at the supermarket in the afternoons, while playing music and hanging out with friends in the evenings. My daughter was a camp counselor and was gone all day Monday-Friday for eight weeks, which left her happy but tired in the evenings. My youngest seemed to have plenty to keep him occupied and got to sleep in late and swim and play music with friends. A bike became his new passion, and he finally hooked up with some employment late in the summer that will carry through the rest of his high school years. I'm loving the fact that he's got semi-transportation plus his own cash. Life is good.
The busy-ness of my offspring found me, at times, with free time (days) on my hands. This was truly a gift. Looking back, I believe it enabled me to have enough alone time to think, pray, reflect and ponder, which positively filled my tank. I feel like this summer I've been nourished and replenished through the time I was given with which to pay attention to my own growth and walk in this life.
I wanted to be sure I recounted this all somewhere, as it really has been a wonderful time. And as children are now literally driving away from the nest and going back to their college and high school lives that don't necessarily include me on a daily basis (although I've assured each one of them that this is possible if they would prefer it that way), I bask in the glow of warm memories of many terrific hours spent together as a family this past season.
If words can evoke memories, for our family these will always conjur up remembrances of the summer of 2009 -
Elbow Lane Day camp.
Camping at Rickets Glen.
New Florida room (thanks, guys)
Six Flags Great Adventure
and once again, just because we couldn't get enough ... S'mores.
You're the best- Dad and I love you.