It has been a long summer.
At times, it has been a bit too long.
But all things come to an end, even action-packed--activity-packed--summers. And I'm starting to realize that this is not the exception for us, it's the norm. That is one of the many things I've learned this summer. Because learning isn't just for kids. I plan to keep on learning--and relearning--until the end. So allow me a moment to muse over the a few things I've learned over the summer months. And feel free to tell me about something you learned in the comments!
~Volunteering can be a double edged sword. Even triple edged. I'm helping out the friends of the library sorting donated books for the upcoming book sale. I've learned that volunteering can feel a lot like having a job, without the money. I'm probably partly to blame for this. I have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, so if I say I'm coming in, I come in, even if it means coming in after I've spent the morning at an emergency veterinarian appointment. Which leads to another learning moment...
~Take the vacation when you can. You may not think you can afford the money or the time to give up two or three days to celebrate your twentieth anniversary, but do it! Because you might come home and find yourself in one crisis after another. I never knew how much I needed that break until I came home to a cat who was wasting away because she developed gum disease and it hurt to eat. Then Sierra got a bean stuck in her ear. Not as easy to get out as the first time. This time it took a doctor, a specialist and then a hospital visit for anesthetic. We took care of that and my car's check engine light went on. Our credit cards have been heating up this August, and not because of the weather! So rest when you can. Sometimes you need to recharge first, before you get thrust into the fray. I no longer feel guilty about taking a couple of days to be alone with the man I love.
~Do what you love every day, even if you can only give yourself a few minutes. I have spent August giving myself fifteen minutes a day or more for writing. It isn't always the same writing. I'm not that focused. I've got two projects going, one that I hope I can take to the next stage soon, and the other just for fun, because sometimes stories tug at your shirt like a child and ask for attention. I hope that doesn't sound too cryptic. I'll be sure to let you know if I get either to a stage where I want to try to share it!
~LEGOs work with Duplo blocks! I'm shocked! I never knew this. (Yes, yes, it's right there in the instructions, but when was the last time you needed instructions to use LEGOs?) We found out this fun fact on a trip to the Bronx Zoo, where they have had master LEGO builders creating animal sculptures this summer. The master builder we met complimented my son's small LEGO build. This was a thrill for me, since Chase tends to belittle his talents. I like having a non-mom opinion of his skill whenever possible.
~My kids are growing up! When did that happen? Even though I've always homeschooled, I feel these precious days slipping away. We are dealing with college headaches of canceled classes. We are teaching Marina to drive. She registered to vote. And yet I can still see her as my little curious girl, demanding every sign to be read to her, afraid she might miss something important. As cliche as it sounds, I blinked and she grew up. Not to be outdone, Chase had his first job this summer, helping some kids make costumes. With the money he earned, he was finally able to buy the iPod he's been saving for since last Christmas. Sierra has been helping me with book sorting at the library, impressing many adults with her ability to assemble, label and pack a box. And when we left them in charge of the house for our anniversary getaway, all three did a great job of taking care of the house and pets. It's good to know we can depend on them to keep it all together.