I am going to savor the simple.
No one can force me to
I’d like a popsicle, please.
I will relish a hot dog
cooked over the fire with
my little ones.
I will take a walk
and enjoy moving my body.
I will seek quiet and rest.
I am going to laugh and be silly
because life is too
short to do otherwise.
Watermelon will be
at all times.
I will seek opportunities
to connect with friends.
You know I will read a book with
a tall glass of iced tea in hand
because that is one of
life’s most luxurious pleasures.
I will arrange flowers
in a mason jar
and call it beauty.
I really only need
This summer will be basic.
And that’s all that I need.
May I have a red popsicle, please?
We had an 18 month old when our boy-girl twins were born.
Yes, our hands were full… (everyone’s favorite thing to exclaim when they saw us coming)
No, I don’t remember a lot of that first year.
I had to divide my time up a bit to try to get time with each of them.
This was the beginning of it all.
When fairness entered the picture.
I remember a few Christmases when they were all 3, 4, 5 and a lot of times
the gifts would be in sets of 3’s.
3 toy vacuums.
3 lego sets.
3 Tag Junior reading sets.
Fairness was a thing because it made life with 3 toddlers a whole lot easier.
My dad sent me a cartoon where a mom weighed the amount ice cream she was giving each child
and told them they were exactly the same.
And then the little girl started counting the sprinkles…
When they are young, most of the time,
fairness is within your control.
You can easily level the playing field, not that you always should, but you can.
As a parent, most things are in your control.
You can set up a playdate if one kid is invited to a birthday party.
You can say that there’s more strawberries if you want more strawberries.
Everyone can go jump one more time off of the diving board!
I still count out cookies or snacks sometimes just to be able to say they are the same!!
As a parent, you have some control on making the fairness police content.
Until you don’t.
As they get older it is harder.
There’s less in your control.
A WHOLE LOT LESS.
They see unfairness in the world. It pains them.
“Why didn’t they take Kiwi’s sister to the doctor? Why did she die? That’s not right! It’s not fair!”
This was the kids’ response after touring a Compassion event for families to learn how kids live around the world.
It’s not fair.
And their response is the proper response.
The things they see should hurt their hearts.
There’s a whole lot out there not fair.
Part of this is just the kids growing up and well, maybe,
it’s me growing up, too.
It’s me comforting my kids when something out of our control
happens and we can’t fix it.
It’s me turning my focus to where true inequality exists.
It’s about seeing truth that has been covered up
and pulling off whatever disguises –
including good intentions, tradition and ignorance.
May our hearts be open and
our eyes willing to see inequality…
And not only the unfairness in our lives – that we see very clearly…
May we not be so focused on counting sprinkles that we
are blind to what is happening before us.
May our eyes be opened to even that which we do not wish
to see, understand or acknowledge.
May the unfairness we see move us to action.
Some things are within your control.
- I will be able to go to the bathroom without being asked what is for snack.
- I can run to the store without 6 extra hands.
- I won’t hear “__________ did __________ to me.” on repeat.
- I won’t have to hear opinions when I make another (AGAIN?!!) run through the Starbucks drive-thru.
- I will again possess the ability to process a situation/issue/concern in silence and use all my brain power at once to do so.
- I can write/work without interruption (I am still relearning this).
- My shower schedule will not be predicated upon whether the plans for the day include the pool.
- A productive day will mean an actual productive day not just that I fed the kids, we went to the pool, and there were no injuries (at least nothing major).
- I will actually get dressed (not just throw on whatever) and feel less like a bum.
- The house will stay a bit more tidy.
- We will be back in a routine and though the day starts way too early, routine is good.
- I can make plans to have lunch with a friend again!
- There’s a bit of a reset at back-to-school time and I am thankful for that.
- The weekends will be back! During school, the weekends are cherished and anticipated by all!
- Slow mornings.
- Average breakfast time of 8:45 am.
- Brushing my teeth in my swimsuit in the backyard while I wait for the dog to do her thing.
- A schedule that includes watermelon, pool, burgers, ice cream.
- Relaxed evenings.
- Tan lines.
- Swimming in the rain.
- Dinners of salad and cereal.
- Last minute decisions to __________.
- PJs as clothes for half the day and swimsuits for the other half.
- Companions for every errand.
- Seeing the dog cuddled up with a kid reading a book mid-morning.
- Helpers to take the dog outside.
- Hearing “Demani owes me over $3,000 and he just landed on one of my properties!” shouted down the stairs.
- There’s less pressure to produce and be ‘on it’.
- Getting up early = 7 am.
- Being a fun mom is easy!
- Bowls of watermelon for snack.
- The hope andpromise of sun and fun each day.
- Not always knowing exactly what a day holds.
Searching for Kindling:
What will you miss about summer?
Sometimes, as a mom,
I feel as though the trip to the grocery store, to the beach,
to pick blueberries, etc. is a colossal disaster.
For example when we picked blueberries
Here’s what I experienced:
I repeated myself a million times.
There were complaints about the heat.
Complaints about being hungry.
There was whining about what a sibling said or did.
I mean, sure, we walked out with a giant
bag of gorgeous fresh blueberries that we picked
but I felt as though I had
sold my soul to get them.
That’s some expensive blueberries.
And so I second-guessed the wisdom in
bringing a friend with us to experience
“Chaos in the Blueberry Patch”.
I questioned my sanity for sure.
I looked at the plump blueberries
with disdain and wondered,
“Were you even worth it?”
And then later that afternoon
my friend sent me some
pictures she had taken of
“Chaos in the Blueberry Patch”.
She is a talented photographer,
of that there’s no question,
but her camera revealed
an experience I was too stressed,
too focused on managing
the big personalities around me
to have been able to see
what happening before my eyes.
joy, deep breath, satisfaction, fun and
I saw that we actually enjoyed ourselves.
I didn’t know that we did.
Honestly, I didn’t.
But her photographs told a different story.
A story I didn’t know was true.
Remember the polaroid photos that would
develop before your eyes?
That’s what happened for me
in my heart in this digital age.
A full picture developed before my eyes.
And so I am learning…
I need to look beyond what I feel in the moment sometimes.
Tension doesn’t have to mar my experiences.
I can choose to not allow stress or my expectations to
render moments fuzzy and void of any positive value.
I’d like to be able to train my heart to see what is developing
in the moment and to not be sidetracked and derailed
by what isn’t going right.
well, then that is all that I see.
I’d like to see beyond what my heart
believes it can experience.
I’d like to be a part of the experience
instead of managing the experience.
I’d like to train my heart to develop the
joy, love and fun first.
I want to see the whole picture.
Searching For Kindling:
1) What are some phrases you can say to yourself to remember to see the whole picture?
One of mine is: “See past what you think and feel.”
My baby girl got a doll for her birthday.
A life-like doll.
It’s like we have a new member of the family.
Today, I heard her ask her brother to hold her baby
so that she could run upstairs.
He asked why she couldn’t take the baby with her. She said,
“I need to do something that doesn’t involve the baby.”
So. She needed her brother to care for the baby.
I kind of loved this little exchange.
It was a simple answer that
needed no further explanation.
I need to do something and I can’t do it
while I am holding a baby.
So I need some help.
Why do we make it complicated?
Why do we unnecessarily involve
guilt and shame when a mom says,
“I need to do something that doesn’t involve the baby.”
It could be she wants to take a six-mile run or perhaps
she is a doctor, a creative, or maybe she is CEO of an architect firm.
Why do we question motives and values when
a mom wants to use the gifts God has given her?
I mean, seriously, why?
Yes, there’s a cost if we pursue our gifts in ways that
take us away from our families.
There’s also a cost that is accrued when
we don’t pursue opportunities to use our talents.
Which costs more?
It’s up to each individual person and
each individual family has to weigh the costs.
And so most of the time,
99% of the time –
that doesn’t include you or me.
When a mom needs to do something
and she needs to do it with her hands free
to serve, work, love, heal, teach.
Cheer her on.
Don’t question her love for her children.
Don’t project on to her burdens that
she doesn’t carry.
She’s given a simple answer.
Sometimes she needs her hands free
to give the world what has been put
within her heart and mind.
It’s a simple answer –
let’s not complicate it.