Friday, June 12, 2015

The Sandlot

In less than 24 hours the final school bell of the year will ring! My kids are too excited to sleep, envisioning the later bedtimes, more xbox, and all those sleepovers they are convinced will be happening. I am a nervous wreck. School it out people! How did that happen so damn fast?

Summer is my favorite time of year. I am solar powered. I love the sun, the warmth, the beach, the long days and the slower pace. Well, that is what I used to adore about summer. Once you are a working mom and have school aged kids, summer takes on an entirely different feel. PANIC. I'm looking head on into 9 weeks of no school. Of no structure. No plan of attack. Trying to figure out which days they go to camp, which days they stay home, and how to keep my kids from turning into complete Minecraft zombies. Oh good Lord, how I wish I was Elizabeth Montgomery and could just twitch my cute little nose and time travel back to The Sandlot. A place where Mom's really didn't work outside of the home, Dad's all arrived home from work by dinner time, there were no video games or ipads, and kids played outside ALL day. No one had to give them ideas and suggestions on ways to keep themselves busy. No one had to make up games for them or plan park dates. Parents didn't have to negotiate active time vs tech. time. Mom's didn't spend the weeks leading up to summer break creating a "Summer Planning" Pinterest board so they could nail down a daily schedule of creative, fun, and healthy activities for their kids.

I have visions of myself, in a cute little 1960s short outfit, sitting on a multi colored plastic stripped lawn chair, ice tea in hand, reading a book, soaking up the sun. Boys can be heard, but who knows where they really are. Somewhere in the "neighborhood" with the kids from the block. I can hear playful yelling and laughing. Every now and then one of them runs by, sweaty and dirty from head to toe, hiding from the others, because they are playing a game of hide and seek tag for hours. I call them back at lunch time. Not by texting or using a cell phone, but by screaming on the top of my lungs. They sit down on the grass, under the shade of an old tree for 10 minutes and scarf down the bologna and cheese sandwiches cut into triangles that I have so thoughtfully provided, give me a quick rundown of the day so far, and they're back out. This goes on all summer. Days filled with PLAY. Real play, not electronic play. Days void of planning and scheduling. Days that create joyful memories, and real true friendships for years and years to come.

Sigh. I ask myself now, "how can I do THIS life, in THIS time, and make it matter?" "How can I give my kids a Sandlot summer?" Well Mammas, I can't give them a summer like we used to have. That ship sailed a long time ago. Unless I had thought about this about 10 years ago, and moved to the fricken hills with my little family. Away from the new fangled gadgets of this day and age. Away from the dangers of our "big city" neighborhood (which is totally a 'burb'). To a place where all they knew was the sweet little farm animals we raised and the acres and acres of land they had free roam of all day every day. Enjoying a simple life with the handful of friends whose parents also decided to live off the grid. No danger of too many hours of screen time. No danger of them getting snatched up by some perv. on their bike ride a couple of blocks away. Baseball and tag, climbing trees and swimming all summer long. There I go daydreaming again!

So once again I bring myself back. I AM A MAMMA on FIRE. I will not give up on my dreams for myself or my family. I will work with what I have, and make it matter. We don't live in 1960. We live in 2015 (WOW). This is where we are supposed to be. This is the life we are meant to live. I will use it and live it and love it. I will choose joy in THIS time. I will do my best to teach my boys to cultivate joy, find their gifts, make the most of each day NOW. Yes, they will play video games. Yes, they will be bored when they aren't playing video games if I don't make them do other things. No, it isn't as easy as it was 40 or 50 years ago. But, it's OK! We will spend lots of time at the beach. We will hike and bbq outside when I get home from work. They will fill water balloons and play chicken in Grandma's pool with their cousins. They will jump in the trampoline with sprinklers on. We will find balance and enjoy the summer we have. This is our time, here and now, it has it's own blessings. We just need to choose to see them!

See your blessings Mammas,  the here and now blessings. Let's encourage one another to notice all that we have to be grateful for now. The difference we can make now by choosing joy and gratitude and deciding to do this life well. Now is what we have, let it count. <3

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