This summer has been a busy one around here. We’ve been racing from one event to the next, taking weekend trips and day trips – packing as much into our days without coats as possible. We are tired. We are all tired. What seemed like a good idea at the beginning of the summer, to get lots of small trips and experiences in during the good weather, has left us feeling like we hopped on board a ride we really didn’t want to be on.
Don’t get me wrong, we have had so much fun! Or at least I think we did. We got to enjoy so many attractions and things outside of our regular home rhythm…which is what I thought I wanted at the beginning of the summer. It was what I wanted. A break from the routine. A chance to experience things beyond what we normally do. But now that I’m at the other end of the summer, with all of our wild adventures behind us, I’m ready to settle down into a predictable pattern again. I am grateful for the solid four days in a row that we have been able to have predictable naps and bedtimes. I am eager for our days to flow more predictably for a while. I am welcoming the chance to maintain my homestead and embrace the housework with more joy in my heart. This is something that just doesn’t feel possible when I am not able to create the time and space to enjoy the routine tasks because we have places to go. The season is changing. I am ready.
Our counters are piled high with things from harvest, watermelons we plan to dehydrate, cucumbers that will become fermented relish, peaches that will be pureed for fruit leather, and three stock pots full of this year’s frozen tomatoes awaiting stewing and canning. There is a lot to be done. But the work is enjoyable, when I am able to create enough space to view it that way. When I am pulled out of the house so often, it is impossible for things to get done. The work piles up, and when I finally do get to it, I begrudge it because I feel like I need a break!
Being on ‘holiday’ with three little kids it turns out, isn’t really a vacation at all, since I spend a full day at either end packing and unpacking. While away the children are distracted by the new sights and sounds, and do very well, but aren’t really at their best. We were doing amazing things, like visiting train museums, seeing an aquarium, interacting at a science centre, and visiting with family and friends. But intertwined in all of these amazing experiences were a lot of tears, long car rides, potty accidents, and general frustration.
The fall out of my children’s lack of sleep and pushing their limits of social interaction usually lasts a week after things return to our regular rhythm. Our summer has been so packed with ‘fun’ that these periods of regulation have been overlapping! There hasn’t really been a time to return to our ‘normal’ rhythm until now. I am really tempted to get out of the house and ‘do something’ since it feels like uncomfortable to sit with all of this unfocused energy, but I’m trying to stay the course. I want to weather the storms with my children in the safe place of our home so that I can support each of them much as possible. It seems easier to stay on the band wagon and keep them busy and doing, but I know this isn’t a long term solution, because it certainly isn’t the lifestyle I want to live.
Under the allure of new and exciting experiences, and perhaps a peppering of feeling like we’d be ‘missing out‘ if we didn’t, we did a variety of things this summer. I have successfully attained a break from home life, but in doing so, I have bought into the overculture of doing. Our family has forgotten how to just be. Today is the first day in a long time where I feel that we are successfully making our way back to reclaiming ourselves as human beings.