After not slowing down for a much-needed trip to the grocery store, breakfast was very ho-hum this morning: buttered grits. Actually, this has been the state of my mind in the last couple of days—lacking things that are grand and exciting, and being very complacent amongst the routine of life.
I think what has me a bit frustrated is the plight I find myself in each summer: overcommitted and genuinely curious as to how it happened. This year, unlike several previous summers, I made a point of not planning too many activities. Living in a larger metropolitan area, everyone has wonderful day camps, and the local colleges offer kids’ classes. Even the library does its part, with weekly readings, plays, and an Independence Day Teddy Bear Parade. There is so much to choose from, and it occurs to me that too many choices can be as much of a problem as too few.
Thus far, our first week of summer doesn’t look that much different than our school year. I have allowed myself some freedom from teaching by only working with the kids on three days a week, and even that will stop with the older two once we wrap up the remainder of history. My commitment, in order to find a way to relax, was to cut my own work down to a minimum; all I would do is read to them. Yet, the Holy Spirit kept nudging me about something—a nudge I tried to ignore until my oldest surfaced all my feelings by bringing her Bible to our reading sessions. I know in my heart that if there is anything worth studying, the Bible must be lifted up as even more worthy than any other resource at our table. So, it’s not that I thought studying the Bible with the kids wasn’t important, but, oh, that determination to be free of being teaching obligations was strong and…Anyway, I graciously told her that I had not planned to read the Bible, but that if she and her brother wanted to, we could. Her reply was that she did want to read, and I received that gentle spanking and was thankful for her leading us to right actions. I could do a lot worse in life than having a kid that wants a little more of Mom’s time to read the Word. We read parts of John 15 and 16, and talked about the fact that as believers in Jesus Christ, we need to resolve within ourselves that we will never fit in with the world. Though I was previously consumed with checking off my list of reading requirements, I know that this was the most important lesson of the day. We continued with Code Talker, and then studied Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter in history. We’ll watch “All the President’s Men” this weekend, assuming it is not too racy. This movie is Redford and Hoffman in their younger days, and the PG rating is probably safe, but maybe I can get hubby to sit with me through a preview later tonight. Now that we are getting to places in American history that I can remember as a child, it’s funny to share my own memories with the kids, making me feel like some old grandmother. All I’m missing is a rocker on a front porch. As an example, I was recalling the Carters walking the streets of D.C. to their Inauguration Ceremony, with little Amy skipping, oblivious to the gravity of the event, avoiding stepping on any cracks (remember that game, “step on a crack, break your mother’s back?”
I think that what is really nagging me is a subconscious fear that I am not going to have a summer break before school starts again. I know I’ve shared it before, but now that we are there, it’s hitting home more clearly. Here’s a rough draft of the our schedule:
Week 1 (this week): break from activities
Week 2: prepare for recital, auditions for next year’s dance teams
Week 3: break
Week 4-5: prepare and compete in Nationals
Week 6: break
Week 7: VBS
Week 8: break
Week 9: back to school?
This list doesn’t include doctor/dentist/orthodontist visits, or the occasional day camp we signed up for. Of course, none of these activities are all-day functions, but for someone who loves to lounge around in pajamas, sleep a bit later, and leisurely greet the day with no agenda when I can, this is a nightmare. I’ve decided that I need to make a concerted effort to do something that I consider a true leisurely activity—sewing or scrapbooking or reading for pleasure—something that I simply don’t get to do nearly as often as I’d like. Now that the kids have just taken their annual pictures at the dance center, it occurs to me that I’ve still not scrapbooked last year’s pictures! One of my friends is always recounting to me the flight attendant’s motto: take care of yourself first, then rescue the others. I’m not sure I totally buy into that, but I do see the reality of not being able to give from an empty cup, so I will take some time to refill in my own way.
Well, by now it’s a new day. I had to stop writing yesterday to attend an evening meeting for work, and hubby and I got up early to beat (some of) the heat and take down a swing set that was being held together by rust. Hubby bought groceries last night after being gracious enough to drop me off for the meeting. I need to get showered (again,) I need to accomplish a few items for school with my college kids, and the house needs cleaning and picking up. Somewhere in there if I take advantage of this morning, I can work on my son’s shirt, which he will have probably outgrown by the time I finish sewing it! May God bless your summer plans, whatever they are.
P.S. "All the President’s Men" was, overall, a letdown. Lots of intrigue, some suspenseful moments, but too much focus for us on the reporter’s efforts years before anyone confessed anything in front of a jury. The movie ends as Nixon is being sworn in for the second time with several typewritten headlines that followed over the years. I wanted to see someone go to jail (how sad is that)! Anyway, perspective is everything. A few days back, we watched "Into the Storm," HBO’s mini-saga on Winston Churchhill during WWII, and we all hated it. So this one wasn’t too bad (smile). I’d warn anyone about language, but I do miss the days when PG meant PG. This film was done in 1976, and the only concern was language. More recent PGs include what I consider to be adult content.