The plan: Start summer vacation off with a bang- goal planning sessions with each of the kids, send care packages out to our missionary friends (I even had the boxes all set up on the kitchen counters), work hard, play hard, cut Isaac and Garrett's hair, and get into a good routine to start the summer off right.
Reality: Ashley leaves early in the morning for her first meeting as a choir officer, and will be gone all day teaching and taking music lessons. The 3 younger boys are mad about having to do ANYTHING during their summer break. Even the baby is grumpy - all these kids are infringing on her mommy time. Cameron is humoring me, but his heart isn't in it. At least he's not arguing. I'll take it.
We struggle through the planning session. I realize that I am going to Cub Scout Day Camp Monday, and will be transporting a bunch of little boys. It's Friday, it's a million degrees outside, and the A/C in my van isn't working. I make a quick call to the auto repair shop. They can fit me in, but can't give me a ride home. Ashley is gone; Greg is in Buenos Aires on business. I tell them I'll be there in a few minutes. The walk home won't be that bad.
Garrett wants to come, too. We start walking home. He points out a shortcut around the lake and along the creek that cuts our walking time in half. I'm so glad I brought him! He's chatting happily. I ask myself, "What am I doing?! These kids JUST got out of school yesterday. All of the structure can wait until next week. We're playing today."
We get home. Cam and Isaac want to walk to the store and get some specialty sodas they discovered recently. Why not? Joseph wants to swim. No problem. I am outside watching him swim and decide to check on our old dog, Jack. He's been having seizures all week, and we didn't expect him to be with us much longer. After playing basketball together on family night Monday, the kids all took pictures with him and said their goodbyes. He's laying in the grass. I walk over and realize that he's gone. Joseph runs over, and begins to sob. I wrap him up in my arms, and hug his wet little body while he cries.
Cameron and Isaac get home. I tell them that Jack is dead, and without being asked, they go out back and start digging a hole out near the trees at the back of our property. I don't know what I'd have done without these able-bodied sons of mine today! With a husband out of town and a 100 lb. dog to take care of, they saved me today. I take Joseph out for frozen yogurt and we talk about where Jack is now, and what a happy life he had.
|He made a dog out of his candy|
Cameron wants to go to an end-of-the-year party at a friend's house. I have some concerns - particularly about a girl that is showing way too much interest in him. We talk it over very frankly. He surprises me with his maturity during the discussion. He's been thinking things through. We lay some ground rules. He knows that we moms stick together and that I have spies everywhere. He gives me one of his big bear hugs, and I tear up a little bit. Man, I love this boy so much!!
I drive him to the party. His buddy Logan, whom he hasn't seen in a while, runs up and gives him a slap on the back. Perfect. I know they will hang out together all night. Sigh of relief.
I arrive home. Sounds like a perfect night for pizza and a movie. The little boys are ecstatic. "Will you watch with us, Mom?" I suggest Old Yeller. They go for it. I tell them I'm kidding.
Ashley comes home from her violin lesson in tears. She realized today that she has made no progress in a year, and she's in pain. Again. On top of it all, she has to take the ACT in the morning and her dog died. Big hugs. She grabs the leash and takes our other dog out for a run. Three and a half miles later, her head is clear and she joins us for the movie.
Isaac lays down next to me and lays his head in my lap. I play with his thick hair. He still needs a haircut. We'll get to it next week. Joseph snuggles in on my right side. I kiss the top of his head. He smells like chlorine. Garrett wants a turn, too, but there's no more room. After 20 minutes, I lay down on the floor with him. He holds my hand. Joseph comes down and lays across my legs. I feel so blessed to be so loved by these kids of mine.
Greg calls from Argentina. I step out and sit on the stairs while we talk. It's so good to hear his voice! His meetings went exceptionally well and he wants to know how I'm doing. We've been praying for each other all day, and those prayers were all answered. I have certainly felt an unusual measure of peace and strength today. I love him so much!
I go to pick up Cameron. He is animated and excited. He had a great time, and hung out with Logan all night. He obeyed our ground rules. He's a truly good young man. As usual, he's hungry. We stop to get him some food (he wants sushi from the grocery store. Why not?), and he grabs some ice cream for his sister.
|He was so excited about this, he took a picture on my phone.|
The little ones are in bed. The big kids talk for a while as they eat and then head to bed.
I didn't get a thing done on my list today - not one thing. Thank goodness. I wouldn't have missed these moments for anything.