As we adjust to life after trying to figure out a new normal, it feels as if summer has flown by. With all things put on hold for some time now – family vacations, babymoons, Bae cations, girls trips, and summer camps – things are looking a bit different.
Some will still have the opportunity to go on their planned vacations and do things as usual. And you should never feel guilty about that when other things may look different for many reasons.
As parents, we tend to internalize our emotions when things don‘t work out as planned. It’s like a burden that weighs on us heavily. We think we somehow missed the mark; the school meeting you had to miss, the one time you forgot it was your snack week. We somehow take those few times where something went wrong and replay them over and over again. We compare ourselves to others, and it weighs on us mentally.
As a mom, I can recall the many things I missed or things my family couldn’t do. But I also remember all the great memories we made.
This summer my plan was to do things a bit differently. I planned a camping trip! I had it all worked out from A-Z. Everyone’s schedule was supposed to be open, so I got on my way to working out all the details.
Then the first call came in from our oldest son in college…
“Guess what mom? I have an opportunity to be a camp counselor this summer at a residential camp. So, I will be home for a week when the school term ends, and then one week once camp is over. Oh yeah, is it okay if I hang out with friends before I leave? And I want to visit my grandparents when I get back.”
Then came the conversation with my high schooler…
“Mom, I decided I’m going to continue with football and we will be playing seven on seven this summer. So, can you plan things on my weeks off? Can you make sure that dad doesn’t have anything planned? I’m also playing AAU basketball.” (AAU is a traveling basketball team.)
So, there’s the mud in my face. And I’m sitting here trying to figure out where I went wrong.
How is it that everyone on my Facebook timeline is either preparing for vacation or returning back? As I watch all of the beautiful pics run through my timeline, as I “heart” them and comment that everything looks great and sounds like fun, my heart aches.
After going through a few of my old pictures of the boys and our family, I realized how much we have grown as a family, and individually. We may not be able to do everything as we used to, or as planned, but we can still make our own memories and find the beauty in it all.
So we won’t be able to take that big camping trip we were looking forward to, and it won’t look like how I planned it with help of Pinterest. But, we will have time by the pool, enjoy some S’mores; we will gather with a small group of our closest friends and family and catch up, laugh, and play a few games. Our college students will attempt to cook on the grill again, with hopes that we are able to enjoy what’s on the menu.
The day will start out early with hopes that everyone will retire to their perspective homes not too late, but through all of the sharing of stories, games being played, children running around, we will look, and again, we would have stayed later than we were supposed to. But those moments won’t be filled with stress. Instead, they will be a time when we remember to exhale. To relax.
This will be the time when it was okay to be honest about what your hopes for summer would look like, and not feel the need to make excuses or feel judged. This will be the time you’re not comparing yourself or playing memories of all the things you missed out on, but you find yourself grinning from ear to ear, laughing until tears fall. Those are the memories we should be capturing and replaying over and over. Especially on those hard days.
So when you’re strolling through your Facebook timeline “liking” and “loving” everyone else’s adventures, don’t forget to heart yours.