I was talking to a friend last week, catching up. We had covered how my kids were and how my friend's kids and grandkids were, and my friend asked "So, what's going on with you? What have you been doing this summer?" And I said, "Oh, you know, the pool, the playground, picnics, playdates, all that kid stuff." And my friend said, "Careful, you don't want to become one of those parents you always hated."
My friend meant, don't become one of those parents who has no interests outside of their children. And I don't recall ever hating those parents, but if I did, I sincerely apologize, because that is exactly the parent I wanted to be this summer. And for the most part, that is exactly the parent I was.
I set out at the beginning of this summer with the idea that this was the last summer of my little kids. The last summer before Mia is in school seven hours a day, five days a week, the last time I was likely to have my kids home with me full time. And I decided this summer was going to be entirely about my kids. And so we did what they wanted to do. We spent entire days at the pool. We ate ice cream before lunch. We rode bikes. We chased bugs and butterflies and neighborhood cats. We met friends at playgrounds and pools and the movies and the water park. I threw myself into swim team and playing princess and having nasty baby pool water dumped on my head.
My house was almost always filthy, there are toys scattered everywhere, we frequently ran out of fruit or milk, the laundry went undone and the bathrooms unscrubbed.
But oh, did we have fun. We are tanned and bug bitten and bleached blond by the sun. Knees were skinned and skinned again and skinned again. We've been filthy and stinky and exhausted. And while I am sorry to see this summer end, I am also ready. We are ready to move on to the next thing, Mia is so ready to start school and Owen is so ready to have a little more attention and do a little more of what he wants to do without tagging along behind Mia. And I am ready to get back to our routine and remember what I did with the vacuum and get back into doing some of the non-kid work that keeps me engaged and balanced. But we had exactly the summer I wanted to have.
And I was exactly the parent I wanted to be.