Slow: Changes in Progress

In case you're among the handful of folks who are wondering what's up with my inconsistent posting lately, this is my offering of an explanation, weak as it is. Quite simply, summer has begun here.

That means I picked the man child up from college Friday and have been adjusting to having him at home. It also means my in-laws are in town for a visit. And it means the super-involved teenage girl is bringing her school year to a nicely packaged conclusion - complete with end-of-the-year parties, extra credit projects (like the 8-legged mechanical hound she made out of aluminum foil for her English class two nights sorry I neglected to take a picture!), studying for finals, and incessant summer dreams and schemes.

This time of year always feels like a huge speed bump to me. It doesn't wreck my life or anything, but it definitely causes me to slow down, shift gears, look both ways, and proceed with caution.

I really do work at home. Not only do I try to maintain a fairly organized and clean home, cook some decent meals, and keep our clothes clean and on their hangers, but I also really do write, study, or handle ministry tasks most days. So when my kids stop going to school and hanging around the house more, it really throws a kink in my days. I love having them home and I am thrilled that they get a break from school, but I don't love the adjustments I have to make so much.

Fortunately we're still in that stage where the college kid hibernates in his room until about noon. And Abby has another week and a half of school. That means I have about six hours each morning to get stuff done before the sleeping bear man child asks that daunting question that drives me crazy. "What's for lunch?" We go round and round for a while about how he can fix his own lunch and about how a variety of sandwiches are a perfectly acceptable lunch menu, and then he gets in the car and drives to his favorite pizza place where he buys the lunch special (with his own money, no duh!) and reads a book. That buys me another hour or two.

Actually my kids, teens that they are, don't bother me that much anymore. It's not like I have to supervise them while they use the playdough or finger paints anymore. Mainly they just distract me. And that's because I'm easily distracted. So five o'clock comes and goes and I've filled my day with stuff like arguing about lunch with my son, finding the picnic basket for my daughter, picking up a dozen pairs of shoes, playing a game with my son, watching Anne of Green Gables with my daughter, and running imaginary errands simply so I can get out of the house for a few minutes of sanity.

So summer is bittersweet for me. I love having my kids around, really I do. They're great kids and a huge part of my life. But I miss having my house to myself all day so I can play the television in the den loud enough so I can hear it from my office get my work done, eat whatever I want for lunch without having to fix anything for anyone else eat my salads in peace, talk on the phone all day concentrate on my studies, and go to Starbuck's without forking out $5 more for anyone else keep my house clean. You can see my dilemma, I'm sure.

Is summer an adjustment for you? If you don't have kids whose schedules suddenly wreck everything change, the beginning of summer may be more of a welcomed respite than a speed bump. Maybe you're like my parents used to be. They were both educators, so summer meant freedom and rest for them. They welcomed the summers. And, I repeat, I do like the summer and having my kids home; it's just a bit of an adjustment...and I'm sure that goes both ways.

I'd love to hear your take on summer.What do you like about it? What drives you nuts? Do you have to shift gears too?

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