Summer Vacation!

It’s truly here!

The kids had their closing service yesterday morning and were dismissed after receiving their report cards.  Summer vacation, at last!

Well, in truth, the year flew by for me.  “Summer vacation, already” would be more accurate!

I’m enjoying my kitchen and remembering back to the nervous anticipation I felt a year ago as we geared up to gut the old kitchen.  I often cringe at how my hormones caused me to deal with the whole renovation process.  I spent some time the other day editing old blog posts because I’m so ashamed of the way I felt about some things.  I wish I could rewrite history.  The best I can do is edit out some blunt thoughts and be more gracious and discreet.  I doubt I’ll ever be pregnant again because I really don’t like myself very much when I am pregnant.  Those old hormones get the best of me more so each time.  If I were to ever be expecting again I’m sure I’d be thankful and excited, but I look back on how I’ve coped with certain life events particularly in my last two pregnancies and can hardly be thrilled with myself.

I am so relieved to be at a place in life where I can look ahead at summer with optimism and excitement, considering there was a time when evenings and weekends made me nervous and were not my friend because I felt like I was walking on thin ice around my perpetually angry son.

Now, after a couple months of working with his therapist, I feel equipped and ready to take this thing called vacation on!  I have a plan and am helping the kids get acclimated to it.  We have a simple structure to our days, but enough room most of the time for them to have some initiative and make some of the decisions themselves.  For instance, they’re supposed to make their beds SOMETIME before morning snack at 10:00.  The goal is for me to not have to ask them to do this (or anything else), so I wrote out a list of daily reminders that I’m reviewing with them periodically in hopes that they’ll comply on their own time table.  It’s worked so far, but this IS only day two!

I want them to be thinkers, so I am working very hard not to be the boss.  Yes, that might seem very unsettling to some, but in truth, I AM still being the boss.  They just don’t need to be my little robots mindlessly marching around doing what I’ve said to do.  So instead of asking my son to get his water cup from the bathroom and put it where it belongs beside the kitchen sink, I’ll say, “I saw your water cup in the bathroom” and let him deduce that it’s not in the right spot and needs to be moved.

Also, a big goal is to help dear eldest son branch out in all facets of life.  I’ve come to realize that it’s crazy to think he can branch out with foods when he is limited across the spectrum.  I’m starting with baby steps and gauging his stress level.  For instance, I would love for him to take the initiative to do anything other than play Kre-O or use the computer, so I’ve placed limits on how much screen time the kids can have.  I have doled out more screen time than I would care to (it’s within the modern-day recommendations, but the point is that I’d just prefer to see the kids outside all day, or reading, or playing piano…) but I’m being realistic and compromising.  They all enjoy screen time, so I respect that.  Hopefully, with time, they will all prefer other activities and select them rather than opt for their maximum screen time.

Right now the two older kids are at Lego Club at the library, which my daughter and I were reminded about when we walked to the library this morning.  I’d sure love a nap right about now, but I’m hanging out with the 5-year-old and hear Baby just waking up.  I’d better scoot for now, but will end with this: God’s blessings to you for a FUN, productive, active summer!  🙂

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