Who’s ready for summer?

By: 
Lisa Ingebrand, Montgomery Messenger

My kids are ready, but this momma is still marking up the color-coded calendar and trying to figure out the logistics of getting everyone everywhere they need to be.

I’m excited for my girls to participate in swimming, soccer, tennis, and volleyball, plus a babysitting clinic and a few other activities—all good things.

But, what working parent can get their kids to a 10 a.m. event every day for an entire week and then be back two hours later to shuttle them home?

I get it.

It’s summer. Kids don’t have a schedule per se.

But many parents still work full time!

As a working parent of an almost 12 year old and a 9 year old, the season is becoming the most stressful time of year. (Heck, it makes brainstorming, buying, organizing, and wrapping all the Christmas gifts seem easy breezy!)

Fortunately, my job is somewhat flexible, and I have parents, relatives, neighbors, and friends nearby who can help me pick up or deliver a kid if necessary. The list of people approved to pick up our kids is two pages long.

It honestly baffles me how other working parents make it work.

But, we do.

We get our kids signed up, to practice on time, and try our darnedest to be there to cheer them on in whatever they want to try.

We find used soccer cleats at garage sales and bum hand-me-down volleyball knee pads from friends and sit on our lawn chairs through rain, wind, heat, and bugs.

We pack lunches and bag meals and sports bags.

And, we wash—piles and piles—of sweaty grassstained clothing.

I know it’s a phase. Everyone tells me I’ll miss these crazy busy years, and I probably will… but right now, surviving is my main goal.

I try to be present over perfect (Ha! like perfect is an option).

I take photos, try to savor my time in the car with the kids and their friends, and enjoy meeting other parents, and watching the kids interact and grow.

It’s a whole lot of work, but it’s fun.

It’s good.

Of course, every so often, I’ve been told that my family is “too busy” and we need to “slow down.” Then, I second guess myself. Am I allowing my girls to do too much? Try too many activities?

I brought this topic up at dinner one night with John and our girls, Anna and Ellen.

Ellen would rather be busy than bored (and no one wants a bored redhead running free).

Anna pointed out that she and her sister aren’t busy all day during the summer, and none of their activities overlap, so “It’s only one thing a day, and not every day.”

It was a good conversation.

We also talked about the importance of appreciating downtime as a family and how much we are looking forward to our planned cabin trips and camping adventures this summer.

And, thankfully, there are still a few open summer weekends of “nothing” on the calendar.

I think we’re good.

We’re going to take these last few school days in stride… I’ll be embracing the routine, and my kids will be begging for no homework, late nights, and fun. That’s as it should be.

Of course, I always cave on the last day of school and allow them to fill their water bottles with lemonade. (We’re such rebels.)

Happy summer to all of you.

Good luck, fellow parents/ guardians! May you find a few extra minutes in your schedule to relax and enjoy these fleeting summer days with vehicles full of noisy kids and may you always read your color-coded calendar correctly. (Dropping off a kid at their sibling’s activity is a bit embarrassing!)

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