My kids have 13 weeks of summer vacation, which is… a lot of summer. We spent the first 9 weeks of summer in America with family and the last 4 weeks back in Crete. It was a full, full time - house-juggling between Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Maine; sleep-away camp for the big two; ear surgery for me; “maintenance” academics for four on the daily; big flights and jet lag on both ends. If you’re a mom, I bet you had your own version of crazy.
I did a little mini-blogging on my Facebook writer’s page, snatches of reflection in stolen moments. I thought I’d share thumbnails of those posts here by way of summary- each is a couple of sentences taken from a slightly longer piece of writing. If you click on the title of any of the eight, it will open up a page that shares the rests of the words.
"If you're alive, you're a creative person," Gilbert says in Big Magic - and yet we don't realize. We forget or, if we remember, we don't even care. Creativity can feel extraneous, even irrelevant.
Fact of the matter, though, is that creativity is the path toward passion, wonder, and accessing our most fully-alive-self. *This* is the key part, the part worth remembering. Creativity is the gateway to many of God's best gifts.
Here's a line about cousins that you can't not love:
"A cousin is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost." (Marion C. Garretty)
3. Summer isn’t just hard for a few, it’s hard for All The Moms
It's not just them, and it's not just me either. Summer's a HARD time for us moms. People *are* out of their routines, and they *do* need us more frequently than at other times. Nights are often later and hours are often shorter for the to-do's that don't go away just because kids are home. Trickinesses of all hues come rolling at us at random times, often when we're least expecting them. These aren't easy things for any of us.
Rain makes you realise your entitlement: the idea that summer owes you outside time, that you should be able to avail yourself of any playground or dock or adventure anytime. Of course it should! But the rain asks you if you're sure, wonders if you want to reconsider. Rain shows you your arrogance. Only she knows if she'll infringe slightly, like a tease, or unload fully with overwhelm. And she has the right to keep you guessing the whole day long.
(The enneagram workshop) was remarkably helpful to my husband and me, individually and together. The process was something like a veil lifting up the skin over our souls, letting us peer in to examine the furniture. "This isn't about *figuring out,*" our trainers said as we walked through the process of deterrmining which number we identified with; "it's about being *found.*" By God, they meant. And by ourselves. And by each other.
6. Reflections on when there are two me’s
There are two of me, very often. One aims to be present and relaxed. She isn't a victim of the Tyranny of the Urgent - has time to sit with her people, knowing they're most important. She has attention for other's words and Enters In… The other me knows the shortness of time and prays to steward the days well. She sees the work her daughter needs on the multiplication tables (again) and stays on it. She gets one kid practicing piano and another improving his typing…
We memorised a few poems together last year, the kids and I, and today we reviewed a couple. Here's one we went through today that's a favourite of mine:
A Time To Talk, Robert Frost
When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk
I don't stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven't hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade end up and five feet tall
And plod: I got up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.
8. Santorini and the goodness of uncertainty and waiting
Two things you inevitably face when you're traveling are: 1) uncertainty and 2) waiting. Every trip - the annual jaunt to the summer house, or the long-planned journey across the globe - will have both.
These were my thoughts as I traipsed up the hill from the villa to town in Santorini with two of my girls last weekend….
What reflections did your summer hold? I’d love to hear…