Summer is upon us. It only takes a couple of sunny days for me to be convinced to throw the to-do list out the window and move myself to the side of a pool. I want to have fun, be relaxed and enjoy this time off school. So as the routine gets more relaxed, I’m trying to be better at picking my battles. This past weekend Levi asked me if he could take a toy into church and I said yes. The look of shock on his face told me I might need to loosen up a bit. Obviously in the important things I want to stand firm. But life might be a lot easier for me, and my kids, if I say yes a little more.
Yes, you can have 10 snacks because it has been a solid hour since breakfast and I know you are starving. Yes, you can wear the same (clean) shirt you wore yesterday, and the day before. Yes, you can have a sleepover with your brother, even though it might mean less sleep. Yes, you can have another bowl of ice cream. Yes, you can skip bath time…we went swimming today- that counts, right? Yes, you can stay up later. All those things are easy yes’s for me to say and they make my kids super happy.
On the flip side of this, I see summer as a blank slate to teach my kids some valuable lessons. Yes, you can memorize a Bible verse each week. Yes, you can speak kindly to each other. Yes, you can help me with laundry and learn how to change the sheets on your bed. Yes, you can read, practice writing, and do an art project. Yes, you can unload the entire dishwasher. Yes, you can be in charge of collecting the trash in the house. Yes, you can dust the furniture and vacuum. My kids are capable of doing a lot more than I give them credit for. I just have to release the control of it being done perfectly, knowing that is how they learn.
This summer I want to strike a good balance between laid back and learning. Carefree and contributing. Spontaneous and structure. Soon enough it will get dark earlier and routines will start again. Warm days will fade into crisp evenings. The structure of the day will naturally change again, reminding us summer is brief, along with this season of life. So today, today I will be okay with a plan-free day. I will say choose to embrace the little things and enjoy seeing summer through 3 and 6 year-old eyes. I will remember I have far less control over things than I think I do. And I will say yes.