Summer Spin Cycle

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Ever feel like your life is on spin cycle? Rinse, wash, repeat from one activity to the next. How do you stop the machine, or slow it down enough to catch a breath, look one another in the eye, truly enjoy time spent together rather than racing from one thing to another, albeit together?

Today begins the fourth week of summer break for my family and the first day I can catch a breath. Or hope to. We have had a delightful break from the school year routine thus far, our days mostly filled with new and different routines. And today is the start of yet another routine, though this will last a glorious four weeks.

I have been looking for small, minute opportunities to look my girls in the eye, to just take long deep breaths and remember their beautiful faces. Ages two and seven: one with pudgy fingers, bouncy baby curls, and full dimpled cheeks; the other with elongating features and glorious, captivating eyes. These children will change so much before August, so much more before we juggle next summer’s spin cycle. Their lives, their childhoods are so fleeting.

How do I provide for them a summer full of fun and laughter, while slowing down to make memories and not spoil them rotten? My eldest is having the time of her life, horseback riding and swimming late into the evening. Yet she complains when nothing is happening. She’s “bored.” (Oh how mothers loathe that word!) And my little one is dragged along to her sister’s various activities, hoping beyond hope that we will stop at a playground along the way. We have logged over 1200 miles in two weeks, barely crossing the county line. Little One and I are beginning to take the shape of trucker drivers, having spent approximately 60 hours driving the older to her lessons and home again.

I am exhausted, edgy, guilty (for lack of the coveted “slowing down”), yet we have filled our days and nights with fun. For my own memories (and guilt-free sleep), a rundown on weeks 1, 2, and 3:

Week 1:
Sick daughter. Lots of sleeping. Doctor visit. Pool. Ballet. Swim team time trials. Volunteer for said swim team. Playground. Attempt to organize for summer.
~Father’s Day. Family kayaking trip.

Week 2:
Horse camp 1. Swim team. Ballet. Library dance party. Afternoons at the pool. First swim meet. Game time with Mommy. Reading. Lots and lots of driving.
~ Weekend camping trip. Hiking. Biking. Pep rally.

Week 3:
Horse camp 2. Swim team. Swim meet. Visits to friends during camp. Lavender picking (apparently this is a thing). Catching fireflies. Play date. Lots and lots of driving.
~ Pep rally. Late nights at pool with Daddy. Play date.

Not too shabby!

Plans for Week 4:
Tennis lessons. Swim team. Swim meet. Trip to grandparents’ and the beach for the 4th. Lots and lots of driving…

Perhaps we need to turn driving time into family togetherness time. Happy spin-cycle summer!

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