"Schools out for the summer - and I have one week off. I have 7 days to play with my kids, connect with my husband, and maybe, just maybe, squeeze in a little me time."
Those were the very first words I typed in my blog. I saved that one sentence as a draft and never finished it. I "wished it" back in June, at the beginning of my first vacation week of the summer. I realize that the reason I never actually finished and posted it was because I didn't do a lot of what I had hoped. Or so I believed. There's something to be said for summer expectations. Several parents I have spoken with have complained that summer seems to go by so fast. You try to squeeze in too much and feel let down if you can't do everything. Or an unwelcome weather change (such as the extreme heat wave that we experienced in Connecticut the week of my July vacation), can ruin all plans of summer staycation fun.
I must admit, I too, got caught up in the lamenting of summer wishes gone un-accomplished. I looked at that first blog sentence of only a few words, yet heavy with expectation. I felt as though I had let myself and my family down: I should have done more. When the heat wave rolled across our Shore, I hid from it inside. Who wants to go to the beach with three small children when its ninety degrees outside? When I went back to work I felt like I should have done more. More. More. More. There will always be that word, "more."
Today summer is officially over. I sent my two oldest off to school. Jaidyn, entering second grade, was too excited to sleep last night and was up bright and early, eager to see old friends and meet new ones. My little Addy, who is starting pre-school, was just the opposite. She was a little nervous when I dropped her off this morning, but had a small smile on her face as she shyly looked around at the other kids in her class. Both girls have expectations of things to come in the school year. Just as I put pressure on my self to make my family and I have the "perfect summer."
This makes me think about those summer wishes. I don't think I did too badly after all. We managed to go on at least eight day trips on my days off, most of which I blogged about or plan to blog about. The blogging is my "me-time." And I did connect with my kids. They are happy with the simple things, like playing school and Polly Pockets and games inside when it was too hot to go out. And I think my husband and I managed to go on one date night. So I have no regrets for summer, despite that ever-existing word "more."
Besides, Fall on the shoreline is arguably one of the most pleasant seasons, filled with fun staycation ideas for families, including one of my favorites, pumpkin picking! But I'll try not to set my expectations too high ;-)