Thursday, May 26, 2011

Coming Soon ... Summer Vacation

The Day of the Black Sharpie demonstrated with stark clarity that I need a plan for the summer, and it needs to be a good one. I year ago I pondered ideas to get summer off to a positive start. Today I have been revisiting a few of those thoughts.

As a mother, I head into summer with a mix of feelings. First, there is the excitement of having vacation stretching before us with promises of swimming, trips to the zoo, long-awaited guitar lessons, Boy Scout camp, lazy afternoons playing cards, our annual trek to Michigan. All good, very good.

But second, there is the inevitable adjustment period wherein I assert with an unblinking resolve that would impress Joseph Stalin himself two basic premises: one, your brothers are fellow members of the human race and will be treated accordingly; and two, summer doesn't equate to a non-stop orgy of electronic overload.

This year, I am forced to add a third premise: I alone am Master of the Refrigerator. My friend Rachel has mentioned a refrigerator lock, and honestly, I'm intrigued. When I view the vast quantities of food flying out of my kitchen, I fear for both our budget and our collective body mass index.

In all my ruminations about summer, I have made a few significant resolutions:

1. Prayer - We will start and finish with it. Without God, we are sunk, sunk, sunk.

2. Water, the drink - We'll be consuming lots of it. Water that is free. Water that does not stain when it spills. Water that does not ensnare the newspaper nor the cover of my new book when it dries all over the dining room table. Water!

3. Water, the pool - We will spend as much time as possible in it and under it.

4. Consistency - We will eat in the dining room! We will put away what we use! We will do our little chores promptly and cheerfully! A mother can dream, can't she? Don't rain on my parade!

5. Variety - We will leave the house as often as possible. Leave the mess somewhere else - that's my new motto!

6. Order - In my latest attempt to wrest some order from this maelstrom of clutter, I am labeling everything that clear packing tape can adhere to. So, the tourist to the upper left is soon to be taped to the bin that will hold her, the flight attendants, the pilot, and the luggage.

And finally ...

7. Gratitude - Our days with all the Dolins under one roof are not limitless. Tim, Kolbe, John, and Ainsey Boo - precious, irreplaceable gifts from God, one and all. I get a brief season with the full complement, and for that I am grateful.

No doubt I will be tempted to waver on these points sometime around Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m. when we are but 36 hours into this grand adventure we call summer. We will regroup and once again forge ahead.

Happy summer to you!


Anonymous said...

Hi Kelly - I've just had a chance to catch up on your posts after a crazy week. I really like your summer resolutions. (And can I say - 104 days????! Here the schoolkids get 6 weeks and a few days, although my daughter's school gives them nearly 8 weeks off, 59 days by my reckoning.) I'm thinking about how to structure our weeks off (I work except for three of them, and part of those weeks we're away), particularly to help our daughter who has had such a difficult time lately. Because someone gave me an extra purse calendar at Christmas, we've used it to keep track of what we say thank you for at tea-time, and that's a nice new tradition. I'll also share one tip that's worked well for us most of the time - we've always given our children weekly pocket money in exchange for helping around the house. But only *cheerful* helping counts!
I look forward to following your summer adventures.

Angelika said...

As a family of sailors with children, I find it disturbing that your children have no life jackets on! Our children are not even permitted on the docks until they are safely secured in their life jackets. As parents our children depend on us to keep them safe. There is NOTHING cute about this picture, I shudder just looking at it.

Kelly said...

The water was about eight inches deep. We use life jackets, too.