“This summer might be the worst ever!” I, at my wits end, shrieked to my husband.
The poor guy stood wide-eyed and frozen in the middle of the kitchen while I continued to vent my mom-strations (mom frustrations) his direction.
“Having to entertain Connor because of his broken toe has been like having a toddler all over again. He’s 10-years old with a million Legos and a room full of robots, yet he needs me to entertain him! And the constant ‘mom, mom, mom, MOM’ call from the other two boys is making me insane! You’d think with them being older and having more independence that they wouldn’t need me ALL. THE. TIME.! And I haven’t had a minute away from them this summer. Someone give me a break!”
At that moment one of my boys walked into the kitchen. His expression was a mix of guilt and being freaked out by momma’s emotion explosion.
My husband? Well, he was still practicing his “living statue” posture.
I wish that I could tell you that that moment changed the rest of the summer. But it didn’t.
I wish I could tell you that hubby whisked me off to a tropical island (or even the spa), but he didn’t.
In fact, I was in such an emotional fury and fog that I can’t even tell you how the conversation resolved. But what I can tell you is that as I lay in bed that night thinking what went wrong this summer, one thing kept eating at me.
I am what went wrong.
That realization made my heart sink.
I forgot what summer break is all about.
I forgot that these 2.5 months of having my children home from school and with me all day, every day is actually a blessing.
I forgot that our house projects should come in second to family time.
I forgot about the Bucket List we created at the beginning of summer. The family notebook got tucked away and so did our ideals of an awesome summer.
I forgot that my agenda isn’t as important as God’s agenda for me in mothering my three boys.
As much as it feels like my position, God didn’t create me to be a referee to sibling bickering or wrestling matches. He didn’t create me to be a drill sergeant barking out orders to make the boys behave. He created me to be an extension of His love to my children. And somehow, I missed that this summer.
Had I realized this sooner, the constant “mom, mom, mom, MOM” calling may not have been as irritating. Maybe I would’ve realized it was a call for attention.
Sure, we had spent a little over a month together. But little of that time was quality time. And the summer wouldn’t be any better until we satisfied that desire for quality time that all of our hearts were yearning for.
So I put aside my personal agenda. And with a month of summer left, my agenda became creating an amazing and memorable rest of the summer with my boys.
Doing so doesn’t require anything grand. It just requires me to be present with my children.
The boys screeched with laughter and cheers as I tested my baseball throwing accuracy on their new pitching net.
We’ve had moments of just being together as we swung on the swings of the dilapidated playhouse in our backyard.
I became the hero of the day when we headed to the beach of downtown Chicago.
And our popcorn lunch at “the cheap movie theater with the fancy seats that have heat” was nothing shy of a hit.
But the joy wasn’t just my boys’. My heart overflowed with joy spending time with three of the people I love most in this world. It was as good for my soul as it was theirs. We laughed. We talked. We even peed in Lake Michigan together. (TMI, I know.)
The point is that I once again looked at my children with eternity-focused eyes and realized that the things of this world are temporal. And while days can be long refereeing and chauffeuring little ones around, the years these children will be living in my home are short.
Their souls are little “works in progress” that I have been given the privilege of mothering, of developing and pointing towards a Christ-focused life. And I don’t want to miss a minute (or a summer) of truly being with them.
So my challenge to you… go enjoy your children today! What is something fun and relationship building that you can do with your family today or this week? Please share in the comments below. I’d love to hear how you spend your precious days with your kids!
For more family fun activities, visit Alisha’s blog, Makeovers & Motherhood.