Thursday, July 08, 2010

Slow Summer Days (TTT 134)

Last week, I had the pleasure of going to a luncheon with my husband. During the lunch, another business man asked me if I had a lot of plans with the kids for the summer. I told him we were enjoying being relaxed. He went on to ask if I had the kids sign up for camps and other activities. I explained that we were enjoying the freedom of a lack of commitments. I said that I knew it was unconventional but I believe that a lack of activity promotes creativity. The man looked at me, blankly, and then moved te conversation elsewhere. He wasn't rude and I wasn't offended. Still, it was clear he didn't follow my line of thinking.

In truth, my oldest is going to Cub Scout camp later in the summer and another son is going to participate in a day camp for incoming kindergarteners. I am debating taking my kids to a VBS program.

I am not avoiding all organized activities. I am just not trying to fill up my summer with activities. I am not trying to entertain my kids with a full schedule.

I am slowing down.

Two notable things have happened so far:
1) I am available to others.
2) My kids are enjoying being with each other.

I am available to others.

We have 2 extra kids here. After lunch, we called to see if they could come over. As it turned out, our invite was perfect timing because their parents had to be at a doctor appointment.

Yesterday, a friend of mine sent me a text. She was in town with her four kids. She wondered if they could come by. It was a fantastic playdate. And then I watched some of her kids while she went shopping at Wal-mart and stopped at the pharmacy to grab a prescription.

Not being extremely busy has kept my thoughts available for others, too. I am more aware of needs and concerns. I am in the moment. I have a real presence of mind that didn't exist when I was bouncing between activities.

My kids are enjoying being with each other.

I can listen to my kids play with each other for hours. The strangest thing has happened since we have been home more, my kids are playing better together. Maybe the slower pace is helping them relax. We aren't rushing here and there. We are spending time together. The kids seem to be rediscovering toys. There's a lot of laughter, too. Oh sure, they are still kids; they still argue. But, I am taking advantage of the time I have to work on relationship building between my kids. In other words, instead of just telling them to stop and to apologize, or instead of jumping in an putting an end to the disagreement, I talk to the kids about what's going on. I encourage them.

I am thankful for my slow paced summer. I am thankful for the presence of mind I have and the lack of stress I am experiencing.

This is my Thursday Thanks Tank (TTT 134).


kbreints said...

I have noticed this summer that my boys had rediscovered many toys that I thought that they were long forgotten. It is wonderful to watch siblings bond...and I am with you-- less is more for kids. For me? I need a little structure!

Anonymous said...

Sounds wonderful! I am hoping that is what our August will look like. No swim lessons. No vacations (not that I'm complaining about vacations in June and July - but it will be nice to just be home). I love reading how being home is helping you be available and that everyone is enjoying each other more!

He & Me + 3 said...

It is so wonderful when the kids enjoy each other and get along. I love it when all three of mine start laughing that belly laugh together.

Anonymous said...

You might like the book "In Praise of Slowness" by Carl Honore.

Ann Kroeker said...

Oh, this makes my heart sing!

Isn't that guy's response interesting? I wonder what he was thinking? I wonder if he's still pondering your response?