Summer is slipping away and it’s almost down to counting the hours instead of the days. And it’s time. There are so many annoying little issues in my home signaling that we need summer to end. I mean, the whole “three meals a day” thing got old about two months ago. But besides that, Lydia has read every book in the house at least 13 times and is in desperate need of the school library. We’ve logged more collective hours on the game Bike Race than I’d prefer to share. And I cannot even begin to quantify how many episode of “My Little Pony” I have endured. But hidden among these frustrations, there were some precious gems that I’d like to hold on to forever. There were little moments mixed in there that represent my family at this stage of life, both as a whole and as individuals. I’ve starting pulling some of these snapshot-type moments up in my mind. I pull them closer and hold on tight so that no matter how far away summer gets, I will always have them.
Snapshot 1: Watching my children experience the magic of Disney. In June, we went to Disney World. Samuel was thorough. He studied the books and the maps and he wanted to make sure and do every single thing that he could. Abby wanted to maintain a fast pace and have thrill and adventure at every turn. She would rather skip something that sounded “boring” to ride the biggest ride again. Lydia was so easy going and enjoyed the little things like getting autographs and looking for pressed penny machines. And for me, of course, the best part was just watching them.
Snapshot 2: Lydia, wearing only panties, leaned over her bright blue guitar with her hair hanging down in her face. I loved watching her through this process of starting on guitar. The initial excitement, watching her persevere through tears of discouragement in the hard stage where she didn’t think she’d get it, hearing her tinker around with it several times a day, and seeing her write out her own stuff. Yesterday we moved the guitar up to her room because her practice is basically independent now. I am so proud of her for tackling something hard that she really wanted.
Snapshot 3: The five of us piled in the van on a road trip. In the last three months we drove to Tennessee, Florida and Colorado. Doesn’t being confined to a vehicle with people just have a way of bonding you? These times made our family so much closer, and for that I am grateful. I am also grateful for the opportunities of these trips, which were all a gift.
Snapshot 4: Lounging in a chair by the pool watching the kids play. At least once a week and sometimes two. Kids and mom both get “friend time”. It’s a win-win. And it gives you a break from My Little Pony.
Snapshot 5: Lydia, laying on her tummy on her bed with her elbows propped up and her hair hanging down her back, reading a book in the morning as the sun rises through her window.
Snapshot 6: Samuel sleeping. Catching up on every hour of sleep that he’s ever missed in his whole entire life, because he is almost a teenager. I will remember this, the first summer, that he learned to love sleep.
Snapshot 7: Three kids, in swimsuits, on the trampoline with the water hose, laughing gleefully. And then taking out the soap and shampoo to them so they end up all clean.
Snapshot 8: Sam and Abby have rolled Lydia up in a big blanket. They’ve secured the blanket with a few belts. They dumped her in a laundry basket and are pushing her around the living room. All three are laughing uncontrollably.
Snapshot 9: Abby sitting on her bed playing on her iPad.This probably doesn’t sound beautiful to you, but this is the first summer she’s had her own room. She’s meticulously organized each inch, made it reflect who she is, and now loves to spend time there. Seeing her this summer confirmed to me our decision to split the girls up as I watched her flourish in her own space.
Snapshot 10: Lydia, in costume, dancing with Nathan on his lunch break. Abby is too cool to participate in such dancing so she is always involved in the costume design and choreography because she can’t be left out of important events and secretly wishes she could bring herself to dance also.
Snapshot 11: Sam. determined and excited, and organizing something. Bless this boy, he loves to organize. So some of his chores and assignments this summer have been to work his magic in various areas of our home. He’s reorganized the under-stair closet, pots and pans cabinet, dvd shelf, spice cabinet and more.
I am grateful for a summer filled with these moments. It’s been the perfect balance for my family. The right amount of time away and time home. We’ve enjoyed time with every combination of the five of us when people were away for camps and other fun outings. And now we’ve started to refocus our sights on school. We’ve reorganized almost every room, drawer and space for a fresh start to the school year. Lydia has 19 school outfits, complete with socks and hair accessories, lined up in order in her closet. (Yep, that could be a whole story by itself.) Three backpacks are hanging by the door. Our freezer is stocked with some ready-to-cook dinners. When the spiral graph notebook comes in the mail, we will finally have every single school supply they have asked of us. We will start this year with our hearts and minds full of these perfect summer snapshots. Sometimes during the school year we get busy enough doing what we are supposed to do to forget who we are and what we love. But these snapshots will be there to remind us.
What are some of your favorite summer snapshots?