What I Learned this Summer

The date is looming on my calendar. August 31st, the beginning of the Labor Day Long Weekend that signifies the end of summer. It makes me sad, yet happy. This season in particular showed that I know nothing about anything about parenting or life.

Motivated by turning older than my mom, I made plans with the girls to make their summer awesome. Play dates, park trips and more was just the tip of the summer iceberg. I would work when I could. My youngest would have her therapy and the three of us would spend afternoons jetting about. Friends on vacation, illnesses from other play mates and rainy days changed things.

After all the plans falling by the wayside, work and therapy commitments were met and a new plan emerged. No plans meant we made the rules depending on our whims. Reflecting on that today I realize I learned a lot this summer about my girls individually, my mom skills and myself in general. I should not schedule every day of their childhood.

Throwing in the towel when plans fell through was the best thing. When the have-to-dos were done, we were left with many hours to do what we wished to play on our terms. It included: visiting my husband or sister for coffee breaks during their workdays, rotating on which park we wished to go to, lots of backyard time from the pool to trampoline, bookstores, library trips and most of important of all- time together. School years are so busy. We have little time to play just the three of us. I remember many summers like that with my mom.

With all the social and other issues we are working with to help our three-year-old daughter, it melted my heart to see her big sister and her play so much together on playgrounds, trampoline and pools. Never has there been a summer where the two sisters connected in such a deep level. It goes without saying how important sibling time is for them. I am grateful to be here to see it.

I am happy I went with my instinct to take less freelance work. In June I turned down a large job. It hurt at first, but realistically I knew I would not be able to help the client and my kids all together.  As much as I like bills to be paid, I knew that work will always be there. My girls’ time with me will be a memory years from now. That is worth more than anything.

This much I know from my mom is that she would tell me I did the right thing.