While many of you have had children out of school since May, our last day of school was yesterday. It’s such a bittersweet time. My children adored their teachers and were both so sad to see the year end. On the other hand they are looking forward to the lazy days of summer. The beach, swimming with friends, long bike rides and concerts in the park. That is what summer is all about. I am making it a priority to unplug and slow down my commitments so that I can fully appreciate and take in the next two months with my sweet kiddos. They are getting so big so fast and I am afraid that if I blink I may miss it.
These two were literally skipping hand in hand from the park. I love these children. They bring crazy amounts of laughter and joy to our days. They challenge us and create in us an urgency to see that this world treat them well. To see that beneath all of our exterior facades, we all feel the same down deep. We hurt, we celebrate, we fear, we love, we care, and we hope.
I want these children to embrace childhood. I have one that feels deeply and thinks too much. She is wise beyond her years and worries too much. I have another that oozes joy and is far too sensitive for his own good. He cares about others and has an innate need to help. He is much too hard on himself and strives to be the best. None of these are flaws. They are unique characteristics that God instilled in them and it is our job to see that they learn to navigate this world with as much confidence, love, respect and honor as they can. In the end . . . it’s each other and how we treat one another that matters. I know that my children will remember how I spoke to them. How I made them feel. They will remember that which built them up, fondly and resent that which tore them down. I am a work in progress as a mom. I am deeply flawed and learn a little more each day about the mommy I want to be.
Driving the other day, hearing this song, I cried. I cried as it holds such a basic and beautiful truth. We are how we treat each other and nothing more. I am how I treat my children, husband, loved ones, friends, and strangers. My children are how they treat their siblings, parents, adults, peers, and the new student who needs a friend. You can listen to the song here if you have not heard it. It really is beautiful. “To be humble to be kind, It is a giving of the peace in your mind, To a stranger to a friend, To give in such a way that has no end.”
I want this summer to be a glorious one for my children. I want them to be children. And I want them to feel and experience the next two months with a present mommy who strives to just embrace it all. I know I will get frustrated, annoyed, short tempered and all the rest. I know that is normal. But we welcome summer with open arms. For us, it is just beginning and that is a beautiful thing. And today I am wishing my beautiful parents a happy anniversary. They are celebrating 48 years of marriage. Such a wonderful example of love and strength. From time to time I open up on this little blog of mine. If you are a new reader and have a moment you can read some more of my reflections here and here. And if you have a son, you may want to read this.