“It’s work! How I hate it! I’d much rather play! I’d take a vacation, fly for a rest…”
- Lazy Mayzie, before she abandoned her nest and took a permanent vacation to Palm Springs in Horton Hatches an Egg, by Dr. Seuss.
Oh, to be a lazy Mayzie bird this summer. The season has just begun, yet I feel the (lack of) sand slipping through my fingers. Do you ever miss something before it is even gone? It is similar to mourning a current vacation because the days are ticking away.
Is everyone busier, or have we simply forgotten how to relax? Or maybe the real crux of the issue is the season of life. My season is currently jam packed with basketball camp, church camp, class trips, and chore lists. In my diligence to plan everything everyone wants to do - I forget to pencil in time to do nothing. If all your time is filled on your phone calendar, when does your mind have time to wander and rest?
Summer moves at a different pace in childhood. When I was four or five years old, I remember laying on a blanket in the grass staring up into the sky at the big puffy clouds and thinking equally big thoughts about the world yet having all of the adventure I needed for the day in my cozy fenced in yard. I explored more of that yard than any other location in my life. I ate raspberries from the raspberry bush, found geodes in the rock garden, and even had success finding buried treasure- digging up an entire marble collection.
At the age of 10, I would read a book for hours on our front porch swing, sipping lemonade, when I had been tasked to mow the lawn. I would feel the freedom of cutting through a backyard to get to my best friend’s house, a few neighborhoods away. Nothing felt better than cruising down the big hill at top speed as we petaled around with no real destination other than staying out until dark.
In my later teen years, summer nights signified freedom. Bikes had become cars. There was nothing better than seeing my friend pull up in her little convertible after dinner as I yelled out to my parents I was leaving, slammed the door, and hopped in her car. Nothing compares to those hot summer nights of feeling the breeze in your hair, listening to Dave Matthews Band, and driving up and down Broadway Street to see who else was out. Side note: how boring that kids today don’t have to “find” each other. Do they even go out and drive around? With all of their apps and notifications, I’m guessing that mystery is gone.
As young adulthood turned into middle adult years, the allure of summer freedom waned. Having young children brought back the summer magic of backyard blankets, playing in the park, and long stroller walks through the neighborhood. There seemed to be all the time in the world again on Saturday afternoons to take long naps and to read a book with my feet in the baby pool as the kids entertained themselves for hours on end in a foot of water.
Now that my children don’t need (or want) me to entertain them, I might need to revisit what downtime looks like and enjoy the time my kids DO want me around. A perfect example would be when I met a friend and her boys at the pool. We got in the pool and all of our boys actually included us in throwing the football back and forth. Not paying attention, I turned to talk to my friend, and her son accidentally pegged me in the side of the head with the football.
The boys all loved this. This isn’t exactly a relaxing afternoon, but pretty much sums up the life of being a mom of preteen boys. You take what you can get. It is those little splices of time that you have to grab onto. When your kids ignore you more than they acknowledge you, it is a win to see them all smile and laugh, even if it is at your expense…and involves a small head injury.
Are you happy with the “now” of your life? Your season? Maybe we should all just be happy with now and realize that we can be a lazy Mayzie at a later date. After all, if you remember the story, Mayzie flew the coop. She abandoned her egg for the tropics and frozen cocktail. That might be nice for a week or so, but all of my preteen eggs need me. If nothing else, to complain that we have nothing to eat and to and ask where their swim trunks are.
Or maybe the key to enjoying this summer, is to stop holding on so tightly. In my attempt to make sure we enjoy this summer to the fullest, I am pretty sure I am doing the complete opposite. So sometime this next week, I am going to sit on my front porch swing and read a book, take a long walk with no destination, or be in the moment with one of my kids, whatever that may look like. Note: if you see a grown woman lying on her front lawn looking up at the clouds - maybe that is me!