Thursday, June 12, 2014

happy summer.

Summer is underway in the land of redheads. 
With the school year coming to a close, we are happy to welcome the sunniest season.  In true Summer fashion we have embraced the sunshine, enjoyed many cookouts, have been camping, eating  s'mores, have taken many bike & stroller rides, have been swimming, are enjoying food on the grill, freckle faces, red-rover in the backyard, sidewalk chalk and so many popsicles. 
Blue eyes have never been more blue and red hair has never been more red.
Smiles have never been so genuine and life has truly, never felt better.
 I am finding our days to be more challenging than they once were and I can only attribute it to the fact that the kids are so used to the structure that school has given them every day.  It's a great thing and I'm so thankful but now that we are adjusting back to summer days with no real routine, it can be a little overwhelming for everyone. 
Nora, the master sleeper, seems not to mind the late nights and late mornings.  Mabel and Braden, however, make my days long and lasting.  In fact, I didn't know whether to be proud or ashamed that I was in bed and asleep by 8:30 last night.
[I think I settled on proud.  Very proud.]
 I have been thinking of a way to sum up life lately and the word that comes to mind is 'content.'
Not content in a melancholy way or a settling kind of way. 
Just content in the most genuinely happy way.
Mabel's days have been consistently good lately.  Everything that she is doing has become very 'normal' and nothing new has popped up to alarm me that things are changing for the worse  This is good news.  It has given me time to hold her close, love her intently and really be in the moment without worrying about the days ahead. 
I find that I do my very best living in the exact moment that I'm in and truly, I have learned to do that really well, especially over the last year. 
 Lately, I find the most enjoyment when I see my kids being kids.
Running free in Green Valley, home of my childhood and home to my parents and brother still, I can't get enough of the innocence it brings.  Nora is an avid animal lover and though she is still learning that she cannot pick up and move fresh, new baby kittens, she is also learning that holding them close heals the heart.  I can see her connect with them in a way that is unique and for her, it's been essential.  She is also quite the tom boy.  She enjoys camping with her Poopaw and not just sleeping on a cot.  She enjoys helping him gather supplies, helping start a fire, cooking their dinner and breakfast over it and never wants to miss a thing that 'the boys' would be involved in. 
Braden is quite different. 
He will be involved but his heart is not quite in it.  I don't know if it's his age or his demeanor but either way, I don't care.  He would rather be playing, singing, or building somewhere on his own than getting involved in the mess that he will later have to clean up.  When it comes to 'work' of any kind, this boy is not quite interested.  He's all play.
And that's ok.  He's little after all. 
They're just so little.  
I am nostalgic lately and possibly overly emotional. 
The truth is, this is my second summer as an official single mom but it feels like so much longer.  I look back on our life before all of these drastic changes and it's as if I'm watching someone else live it.  Looking back I see this woman trying desperately to hold her family together, analytical and determined to make it work no matter what the cost.  But I am not her any longer.
Today I am a much more joyful woman.
Where judgment and complaint once unintentionally sat in my spirit, compassion and acceptance have overshadowed.  The days that I have walked through this life have led me in a more steady pace toward the person who I truly long to be.  
I want to spend time with the people that I love and respect them for all the things they are.  I want to celebrate their flaws and triumphs, peculiarities and perfections.  I want to be the type of human who raises other little beings to be the same. 
I long to teach them how to be less in themselves and more aware of the circumstances, situations and predicaments that led people to where they are.  Everyone is on a never ending journey to become their best self; I just believe some people don't recognize it.  They don't tune their hearts into the changes and they definitely don't want to experience all of the heartache, suffering, sadness, frustration and pain that carries them into a better, more rounded person. 
But me?  I do.
And I want that for them too.  Hopefully they'll recognize it much sooner in their lives than I did in mine.  And hopefully with much less heartache to guide them there.
So summer has launched and with it, the sunshine that brings extra doses of happy.
Longer days, longer hair, less worry, less planning.
We have a full schedule and I have a full heart.
All feels right.

In fact, my dream come true is watching them ride away on their bikes, free spirits flying.  I listen to them bicker and fight, laugh and taunt.  I can't help but feel completely saturated with such rich gratefulness.  I mean, I feel it so deep in my soul that I can hardly contain it.
Some things haven't changed. 
Don't get me wrong-it's not all sunshine and daisies.  I roll my eyes several times a day, give time-outs like it's my job [ok, it is], and take deep breaths by the dozen just to get through.  I'm still a yeller [the zen-ness of life hasn't broken me of it quite yet]. 
But over all, I just feel really settled and satisfied in this role, in these days, with this life.
There are several changes happening around us, as usual. 
New babies will be born to close friends, scary surgeries are scheduled, people we love are moving across the country, new positions are being accepted, new friends are being made and we are learning to let go of some friendships that are toxic.  Vacations will be taken, lemonade stands will be made and so much love will be given. 
To my kids who will read this one day:
I hope you feel the happiness that I see in you.  I hope you feel joy that surpasses circumstances.  I am so proud of your hearts and the way you know right from wrong.  I am so proud of the tenderness you show to others.  I am so proud of your desire to pray for people who you love.  I am so proud of your desire for Jesus (I prayed that He would live in you.)  I hope you always know that He is real and that He is near.  I am so proud of your strength and resilience.  I am so grateful for your love.  You show such unconditional, pure, true depth and I pray you never lose that. 
I thank God every day for you. 
You were created and brought into this world with such desire and such love by me.  I never wanted anything the way that I wanted each of you.  You're my greatest gifts and the rewards of my life. 
Happy Summer, kids.
I love you.

1 comment:


Love that you are having good, fun, & most of all, HAPPY days :) Blessings to you all!!