Jul 3, 2012

confessions of a homebody

Every summer I fall even more in love with my kids. It's crazy hectic and messy (especially the first few weeks) and there's no break from the noise with everyone at home, but each time summer rolls around, without fail, we establish a great routine of just being together.  
And then I cry when the school year starts because I miss everyone so much!

I'm a mother who (partly, I'll admit for selfish reasons) doesn't commit to much. I never overextend us. Sometimes I worry if my kids are missing out on ballet/swim/acting/dancing/crafting camp? There are all these completely awesome camps today! (Maybe next year?)
But in the end, I honestly couldn't handle trucking them from event to event and besides I think I would miss them  being gone the whole summer. 

Instead we live lives full of small adventures both indoors and out but all are close to home. 

There are times when I become more adventurous and we take a trip to a new place for the day, but for the most part, we seem to find peace and wonder in all the small corners of our "yard" and of our home. 

Isn't that okay too? 

And surprisingly for a big family, while there are certainly moments when it is totally bonkers, life is pretty peaceful. As long as my kids don't eat lots of candy, that is!

So, I won't apologize anymore for it--and in fact--maybe I'm onto something here? Perhaps our world is becoming too fast paced?  Maybe we're forgetting that the best things in life are often found when nothing is going on and we don't try to do too much? Maybe the best thing about summer is the surprise we find when we aren't even looking?

I don't know. And I certainly don't have all the answers, but that's what seems to work for us. But who knows? Maybe next summer we'll try something new? After all, that's the beauty of our freedom, isn't it? That we can pursue what makes us happy. 

Today for us, happiness is just in being. 

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Unknown said...

I am a teacher, so I am go-go-going as much as my kids are during the school year. I have LOVED having some low-key time with my kids since school has gotten out, though ... seems like I'm appreciating it more this year than in times past.

I teach summer school beginning next week, and my younger daughter starts day camp the same week (per her request ;-)). My older daughter just graduated from high school and has a car and a boyfriend, so I'm sure things will start moving quickly, but for right now, I am loving the peace and the time.

Thank you for reminding me of that :-)

Susan Anderson said...

I always did summer just the way you are doing it...and I think there's a lot to be said for casual days at home. I wish kids today got a little more of that!


Rebecca said...

Sometimes I think that it would be nice to sign Joey up for t-ball and Isabella up for ballet and how they are missing out on so much by not going to camp and such....but then I think about our week and how we visited a park with a pond and saw tadpoles and how we are right now raising tadpoles and how we had a mishap and killed all but one and how we are getting more today and WOW, you can't get that in t-ball and ballet!

Paloma said...

Beautiful post! And loved all the pictures! :) HAPPY! :)


Melanie said...

I think that this is a great idea. Personally, I need downtime and I hate the way that I feel when I've agreed to do to many things in one day. For me that usually means more than one planned activity. The spontaneous stuff is awesome, and there's plenty of that, but when I need to meet so-and-so here, then a few hours later meet so-and-so there, it's too much.

Nathaniel is almost two, so we're not at this point yet, but what if he inherits my introverted/extroverted personality? He's super chatty and friendly and fun, but maybe he'll need his downtime too.

Sandra said...

It's definitely something that you have to actively take a decision about - especially once your kids hit school. The girl has one arty activity and one or two sporty activities during the school year which is LESS than most of her friends and classmates. Some of them have two activities on one day after 7 hours of school.

And don't get me started on the weekends full of ferrying kids about. We made a decision that the girl would never be in any activity/sport/arty thingy that would take up entire weekends.

Finally, I think there is an illusion that peers trump family at a certain age. I do believe that friendships are important but also believe that family time, especially as they hit their teens, is critical.

Caroline said...

I have LOVED reading all of these comments.

I hesitated writing this post because, I never want to offend anyone and I know that there are parents out there and families out there who really do thrive (and thrive very well) with busy, busy schedules. But we really aren't one of those and sometimes I think there can be misconceptions about "people like us" who really enjoy just being home and together and kind of just chilled. That being said (and WOW what a mouthful) I also think I wrote this because I needed to explain to myself (maybe give myself permission) to accept that is just the way were are. And maybe it's just the way we are right now. Who knows how we'll evolve as our family grows older.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I so much enjoyed all the thoughtful comments. This reminds me WHY I blog.

Jen C said...

I love that you wrote this! Thank you!

I'm the same way. I worry that they're missing out. Then, in my healthier more zen like moments, I remember life's not a race and there is no finish line.