A spur of the moment evening drive out to the lake to find the perfect piece of driftwood for our front yard. A celebration of our find with an ice cream cone at a stand we had never been to. The smells of summer grass and sweet wind coming off of the lake. Watching as fire flies take turns buzzing and listening to my son ask “why ” about everything from God to bugs. This is as close as it is going to get for me reliving my childhood. When I breathe that summer air and feel those summer feels, I can put myself right back to the ease of being 10 years old. Nostalgia is important. Keeping your kid-self flame ignited is important. Taking time to abandon your mom role a bit is important.
How do you remember who you are without all of your pieces? Just one day before God handed me summer in pretty wrapped package, I was being swallowed whole by all of life’s moments that don’t read so poetically.
Just one day earlier, hormones had me convinced I’d cross the finish line to tears at any given moment. Potty training fails had me feeling inadequate. Four budding teeth in a toddler had me feeling overwhelmed with helplessness. Family parties had me straining to make sure my children acted accordingly. I lost me. I was not taking in the summer swells but drowning in the jobs that come with them. I forgot to breathe the most breathable air and I forgot to smile while slathering on sunscreen. I lost me. Years spent at my childhood home doing flips off of tubes and playing bocce games I’d hoped would never end were foggy memories. Fresh cut responsibilities lie over them like a shadow as I searched for shade to rock my grouchy son in. I lost me…
And in a moment I didn’t…. As sure as life handed me a moment where I was not my best me, another followed right behind it. The very next day on a whim I was whisking my family off to a wood finding adventure. An adventure that melded old familiar feels with new summer soulfulness. In a blink of an eye outlooks changed and I saved myself. We can always save ourselves from our-self. No feeling is finite…and sometimes whims eclipse the best planned day.
All of my days have so much to teach me. The warm ones where crayon colored Popsicles drip on our front porch. The chilly ones where fires are sparked and big fuzzy, brown blankets are shared. The never ending ones when spills keep spilling and nobody feels like putting on their happy face. The ones where you can actually feel your heart splitting in two. Give me all of the days. I will not wish them away. I will not wish for different days. I will wish for everything to be. I want summer swells to hold hands with drowning despair . Give me child like ease and the duties of parenthood. They weave me a real life…the kind that stories are made of.