The best part of summer vacation

We are on our second full week of summer vacation.

Me, home all day with 4 kids. I breifly looked at camps but they are a) expensive and b) still left me with 3 weeks to entertain on my own because we get out of school so much earlier than our local public school.

So after I looked at the local VBS schedules I headed to Pinterest to see how I could occupy our time. We had a standing Adventure Tuesday that we started a few years ago but I knew I needed more. With a new baby that has left our house a little on the topsy turvy side I needed more structure. I found this great pin that had a fun basic schedule on it. It was perfect! It gave me *just* enough planning to have ideas without being a full out to do list.

I sat down the first night of summer vacation and I planned out two weeks for us. Outings! pools! Crafts! It was going to be the best summer ever!

Week one started out great. The kids were mostly enthused, I was still energized and we had a great time. Week two (this week) is not going so well. Mother Nature apparently missed the memo that it was summer. Instead of basking in the sun I am diving into garage sale bins trying to find our almost outgrown coats and sweatshirts.

Tuesday our plan was to head out to a nature center to participate in a class, have a picnic lunch and hike before coming home. We needed to leave at 9ish to get there-early enough to register and ease into the setting which is important if you have a toddler. The kids of course slept in. I (of course) got distracted by a project and at 9 we were all still in our pajamas with the kids devouring the TV time they haven’t had for 9 months. I could feel myself start to stress. My heart started racing as I ran around to pack lunch and get everyone and everything organized. The normal school morning routine of snapping orders started to fly out of my mouth.

When no one answered I stepped back, took a deep breath and exhaled it all out. It’s not school. It’s their summer vacation.

It’s a time to have fun and experience new things, not run around stressed out. They were happy and having fun. The toddler and the six year old were marching around in princesses dresses and happily playing together. This is what summer was supposed to be about, carefree play, not about the perfect “mom camp” schedule.

So I slowed down.

I didn’t bark orders I just tried to go with it, hard for a type A personality. You know what? We still got there in time (barely) for the class. We hiked together for almost 2 hours. We saw a frog, a deer, a turtle and enjoyed each other. It was a really great day and all it took was stepping back and remembering that it’s not about me and my plans, but about them and having fun.

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