As my kids were funneled to friends’ homes and sitting outside hospital rooms plugged into electronics I was honestly grateful to have, I was tempted to throw the Intentional Summer Experiment out the window. Your kind reactions and continuous opportunities to share this idea were the fuel that kept me going. I was so grateful for the plans I’d made in May – the chores app was already loaded and our character themes already created so it was easy to redeem the time we did have whether at a restaurant for dinner (this working mom with a traveling husband was not cooking much at this point – shocking) or just simply reminding them to check the chore app before bed. Sophia and I had done at least one mother daughter lesson together on a non camp week.
(If you are doing Growing Little Women, I would encourage you to maybe break the chapters into two sittings. My daughter found that to be more enjoyable as I sensed her restlessness and didn’t want to hurry and finish.)
With all the stress of family dynamics added to carrying others burdens walking alongside families in the counseling office, truthfully there were large three hour time blocks I wanted to do nothing but recover by staying in bed and watching TV or napping (which I sometimes did.)
Last night as I was doing just that and talking to my sister Melissa Spoelstra who was diligently delivering a pep talk, my almost nine year old daughter entered the room with a stack of towels in hand. She then informed me not only had she finished a book and her checklist but I was to relax because she was “doing laundry.” Although pleased beyond measure, I quickly launched out of bed to double check laundry central as she had only received two brief instructional sessions on settings and detergent both when I was furious with her for not separating yet again her underwear from her pants. (Yes, counselors lose their tempers even though we teach anger management Always easier said than done.)
Surprisingly blankets, sheets and towels were cheerfully humming in both machines, creating a demand for a lesson on when to wash in what temperature. My favorite part of the entire experiment by far is when she sweetly exclaimed to me after a couple loads, “Mom, I don’t appreciate what you do enough. My feet are killing me.”
So maybe you too had great plans for the summer that now seem like distant dreams. I want to encourage you to press on or even start again. You never know – your laundry day might just be right around the corner.
For those starting now thinking it’s too late or barely out of the gate, I always tell myself every time I’ve exercised for several months and then stopped for several months. “When you add up the months over years of time, I have twice as fit a body than I would of have.” Even if your journey if full of half attempts, your children’s character is still more developed than it would have been had you done nothing.
How is your summer going? Feel free to share or ask questions. Stay tuned. My next post will be in response to a question I received on Facebook regarding moms who work from home. If you too have a question for the counselor regarding parenting dynamics and special challenges summer brings, feel free to comment below.