It’s been awhile since I’ve carved out time for myself to write. It’s harder to call myself a writer if I’m not actively writing, but even when I’m not writing, I’m thinking about it. I think about how I would weave the words to paint the picture that is this snapshot in our lives. One of these nuggets that I’ve been carefully crafting is the fact that here we are on the cusp of summer, the last home stretch of the school year on the horizon and I can tell you right now exactly what I want to do this summer.
Don’t get me wrong, we won’t be so far ensconced into our couch that the only way to find us is to stare abstractly at our living room like one of those magic eye paintings for the image to pop through the fabric. But at the same time, I’m exhausted. Most of our day, seven days a week is all scheduled out between ABA therapy, two separate preschool classes, doctor’s appointments, IEP meetings, diagnostic testing, respite sessions (which are for my benefit but still have to be worked into our existing schedule), and running errands. By the time our schedule for the day has ended after 3 pm, I’m numbly going through the motions of adulting: changing diapers, cleaning, cooking, making sure everyone eats and is bathed and brushed and goes to bed by a certain hour (usually in my bed with me).
I don’t need a fancy vacation, live concerts, a big camping trip, a road trip adventure, or even a goal to eat at all the brunch hot spots this summer. All I really want is to bring down the pace of our lives a little, if only for a few weeks. These are my sincere wishes for this summer:
- To have a flexible schedule. What I mean by this is I don’t want all of our days to be scheduled out. I would love to wake up at least a couple times a week and not know what we are doing that day. We still have ABA five days a week in summer so this becomes a little tricky. I’m limiting the rest of our schedule to swim and dance lessons at the YMCA for the girls but the rest of the summer I want to be what we make of it. I don’t want a schedule to keep or grand trips to plan. I don’t want to have to be anywhere or be ready for company at a given time every single day. I want the chance to be bored.
- To let my girls be little girls. It’s not as if the girls are actually taking the load of pre-law students, but at the same time I want to be able to open my back door this summer and let them run around in the sunshine, play in the dirt with the dog, scrape their knees and dig up earthworms if that’s what they want to do that day. No more preparation for Kindergarten, no more IEP or diagnostic testing, no more developmental goals or milestones to achieve. We have a play room full of toys and an IKEA shelving unit full of arts and craft supplies, paint, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, play doh and board games. Let that be their homework and their goals for the summer.
- Enjoy simple pleasures. I’ve found my favorite things these days and the things I most look forward to are writing (THIS right HERE), reading a book I can lose myself in, and sipping coffee or my favorite beverage in the quiet minutes of the morning, or even just being outside and enjoying where I am in that given moment. I want to be able to do those things and let my kids experience their own simple pleasures as much as possible this summer. Eating dinner al fresco, spending all day getting dirty outside and making messes and ending the day with a long bubble bath, or spending a Sunday together building forts and watching Pixar movies all day sound like wonderful options. I don’t want an epic vacation to plan or a fun card to fill. I want to open a new box of crayons and bask in the glory of Crayola.
I want my kids to look back on this summer and remember how little we really need to be happy. Who’s with me? Let’s slow down this summer and enjoy the little joys. Let’s put away our check lists, planners, and Instagram filters and just to be here, right now, filterless and fancy free.