As the school year rapidly approaches, I am finding myself surprisingly wishing summer break would last just a bit longer. A couple of weeks ago, as we unwound and unpacked from vacation, the start of the year sounded mighty fine, mighty fine indeed. But now, as things have settled back down, I have been able to take note of the little moments surrounding me, and I am enjoying the flexibility that summer affords. Just a little over a week until I share these little (and not-so little) people with school. I'll miss moments such as these:
Every morning, my husband gets up for work at a reasonable hour, and, well, I don't. That is, I might wake up at a mostly reasonable time, but then I loll around in bed, reading, looking at Facebook, checking out Pinterest, just relishing those moments before my feet hit the floor and I must go downstairs and face the music (er, the breakfast mess on the island). And almost without fail, one or two or even three little ones will crawl into bed with me. We cuddle, we chat, and sometimes a child or two even goes back to sleep! These moments will disappear when school starts and the alarm dictates my waking hour.
My oldest daughter is a lovely girl, if I might say so myself. She is always willing to watch the kids for us (with or without payment - we pay her for certain things and not for others) and that has afforded us some quiet time together this summer. Whether it's going out for a date or taking a walk, she can hold down the fort for us while we're gone - and as my pediatrician says, that means "we've arrived"!
On my back-to-school Mommy's Nights, I have enjoyed precious solo time with each of my kids. On my very last evening out, my 9 year old son, sporting his brand new braces, turned to me and said "My Mommy! My beautiful Mommy!" I don't know how many more years my sons will call me beautiful, so I cherish his exuberance and love.
My littlest daughter loves to ride her bike around the block and is constantly asking us to take her. I should oblige far more often than I do, because it is a win-win for both of us. She gets to ride, which brings her great happiness, and I, I get the far better deal. I get to walk behind her and watch her ride. My heart is full as I watch her little brown legs pedal as fast as they can, her white-blonde hair poking out from under her helmet and blowing in the wind. Her tiny body sways back and forth as she pedals, and every now and then, on her own timetable, she lets go of one of the handlebars and twists her little bell. Just following her brings me great joy.
The three oldest kids have all attended camp this summer and they all had an unbelievable time. No one wanted to leave, which I take as the best possible scenario. They made new friends, were mentored by their counselors, grew in their faith, learned new skills and played crazy games. I never went to camp because I was always too homesick - I am so very glad my kids are not hesitant like I was - they jump right in and enjoy it all.
These are only little moments, but they define my life here. My children, my husband, our faith - these little moments add up and are really the big ones.