By the time I picked up the little girls from the bus stop last Friday afternoon I was exhausted. It had been an enormously trying week and a half at work, our basement had flooded, and we’d learned of an unfolding tragedy within our family. I needed this three-day weekend, or possibly a month in Paris…or a week in Vegas…or a day at the spa…or even 30 minutes in a massage chair, more than ever.
A couple of weeks ago we pulled our summer clothes out and made an inventory of what the little girls would need this year. They are so tall and growing so quickly that it soon became evident that they would both be getting almost completely new summer wardrobes. We had made plans earlier last week that this weekend I would take each of them out, separately, for a summer shopping date. Friday night my oldest little girl and I went out for dinner and then went in search of the perfect summer clothes. She tried everything on, found the kind of clothes she wanted, and we went home with two bulging bags of clothes and flip-flops to outfit her summer. My littlest little girl and my husband headed for the indoor pool and worked on underwater hand stands.
Saturday morning, I took my littlest little girl to breakfast and then to the mall. She too found clothes that she loved. While we shopped my husband took my oldest little girl to the ceramics room at his school and she helped him work on a sculpture. We all convened on Saturday afternoon and the little girls played while my husband and I worked on house projects. Saturday night we all went for ice cream, read Nancy Drew, and got to bed early.
Yesterday the little girls and I were at Target a mere 15 minutes after they opened, eager to get grocery shopping out-of-the-way. We raced home, put groceries away, went straight to the outdoor pool, and when we got home the little girls split their time between two friends’ houses, one with a pool. Last night we got them home, fed, showered, and in bed early again.
This morning when we brought them to their other parents I was so sad to see them go. It was the perfect summer weekend. The little girls are finally getting less homework, the weather is warm, and we actually have time to allow them to just…relax…and be kids. Today as my husband and I relaxed for one final day of this much-needed three-day weekend an idea started to form in my head. We live incredibly busy and fast paced lives. No, not fast paced like chillin’ at the club ’til 2am, driving Lamborghinis, and doing coke. Fast paced like trying to pack everything in that we can to get us where we want to be. That often means that between the activities of the little girls, and our commitments at work/school/side businesses, that we are running from sundown on Friday evening to sunrise on Monday morning with not much time to breathe. I don’t want that for my little girls.
Don’t get me wrong. I love that the little girls will grow-up seeing their parents working to accomplish their goals, make dreams come true, and to succeed. I’d also like for them to experience what it’s like to just be a kid. They already have so much more to deal with than many of their friends. Going back and forth between homes, and families, and environments isn’t the ideal situation. Even though they are only seven and eight they’ve experienced quite a bit in their short lives…some of it very very sad.
But I want them to know what it’s like to just relax. To have weekends in which the only “plan” is to just stay home. To play outside with friends. To end the summer seven shades darker than they started it. To sleep-in (even if that means 7:30am). To just BE. And to see their parents doing the same.
This afternoon as I was drifting off to sleep (I got to nap today!!!) I decided that my goal this summer is going to be to provide the little girls with a lazy, relaxed, care-free (as much as possible), summer. One in which not much happens. Nothing of note other than just being kids. They deserve it. And so do my husband and I.
TODAY: What if we make a concerted effort to have the laziest and most care-free summer on record? What if our little girls get to have a normal, non-eventful, friend and water-filled summer? Summer 2012 is going to be epic!