I’ve noticed a yearly rhythm to when I tend to post. I generally have a New Year’s post, a school year wrap-up, and a “here we go again” in August. And I tend to find the urge to talk about the summer nothings that are filling our days. (Here’s last year and another before that.) I guess this year is no exception.
Here’s a few thoughts that have earned a paragraph or two but not their own post.
We recently attended the funeral of a man who was very influential in our understanding of working with teens in a grace-based, gospel honoring way. He died suddenly at 58. It’s such a strange thing when that sorrow is hanging in the air but the kids are still laughing, someone jokes good naturedly, or the toddler dances to a song he is creating as he goes. You laugh despite the ache, or maybe amidst the ache, but the ache holds tight.
I would not have guessed how much of being an adult is living in that state. You cry on the way to the store and then get groceries. You smile as a song brings back memories, and then weep for the people that are in those memories but not here with you. You tear up, make breakfast, teach the kids, do the laundry. The days can be a confusing mix of heavy reality and soft hope. And I think that’s okay.
The heavy realities of this summer have been heavy indeed. But still there is light in the mix.
In June, we celebrated 16 years of marriage. It was a crowded week, a few busy days squeezed between two trips. Somewhere in the laundry piles and pre-trip lists, we found time to look at each other and say, “Hey you. I’m still glad it’s us.” And that to me felt like the theme of 16 years of marriage. It’s not about amazing date nights or big trips. The goodness is found in being able to value each other in the daily grind of life.
A few weeks back this baby raccoon was hanging out in our neighborhood. It took a lot of work to convince my children that he did not want to go home with us.
When I really need to get something done, I put the toddler in a bubble bath or give him the i-pad. We both prefer the former. That boy has taken more baths than all his siblings combined, setting the record for four baths in a day. Desperate times call for desperate measures!
My girls were playing play-doh this morning and decided to turn the game into a mock cooking show.
Girl #1: I’ll be the lady who is really freaking out and makes a big deal about everything.
Girl #2: OK. And I’ll be the one who looks like they can’t cook but they actually really can.
My older boys have taken over the lawn mowing. Upon first attempt, I joked that their lawn mowing kind of resembles what it looks like when I cut their hair- uneven and some missed spots. “Yeah, except you don’t have to wear the lawn in public,” quipped a dear child in return.
In book news, my teen read The Hunger Games trilogy and found it “unsettling”. My reluctant reader is reading Calvin and Hobbes on the stealth. (Is there any better relationship in literature than Calvin and Suzie? I think not.) My girls are listening to A Wrinkle in Time, Mysterious Benedict Society, and Penderwicks at Last on repeat. Silas can’t get enough of The Book with No Pictures by Novak. I’ve read quite a bit of middle grade lit in hopes of finding some winners for a young people’s book club that will start in the fall. I’m also reading this and this– both so good.
My husband is listening to the Wheel of Time series on audio. You can pretty much tell where he in the house by stopping to listen for the sound of his book.
It was a goal of mine for summer to repaint the living room. (Look- I have a complicated relationship with goals. I know they are supposed to motivate you, but they kind of feel like “Lists Of Things You Might Not Achieve”. I know. I have issues.) So anyways, these paint swatches are up, and I’m slowly removing the ones I don’t like in certain light. Only three left!
We’re four weeks out from school ramping up, and I’m trying to be chill about it. Summer is never quite long enough for all the the relaxing and all the productivity that I hoped it would entail. Hope your summer is all you hoped and more. 🙂