Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Summer

Ryan's guilting me into blogging tonight. "You haven't blogged in a while," he comments tonight. I acknowledge as much. "You know, if you don't blog every two or three days, people are going to stop reading." Dutifully, I open my laptop and try to figure out what the heck I should blog about.

The days sort of blur together. And that's maybe the hardest part about where I find myself today. Guiltily, I sometimes think of what we'd be doing if we didn't have the twins. The pool, the zoo, the park for sure. We've always squeezed the life out of our summer days. 

This summer will be different for sure. My friend is considering buying a Little Tikes pool, one decently sized. It's inflatable and comes with the water filtration system and a cover which locks. She too has a baby at home, and like I, fears what a boring summer afternoon will do to her eldest daughter. And for the bargain price of $150, I might be persuaded.

Why do we fear boredom for our kids? Why is my impulse so great to entertain my kids? Why does guilt nag at me when I call them from their play to clear the table, sweep the floor, or put the lid back on the crackers? As a mother now of five, I'm trying everyday clarify what it really is that I'm called to do (and not do) and then live into that. I've sworn off the job of cruise director.

I did get a little Bible reading done this morning. I like this translation of Psalm 119, from The Message: "I watch my step, avoiding the ditches and ruts of evil, so I can spend all my time keeping your Word. I never make detours from the route you laid out; you gave me such good directions." Every day, I know what needs done: I've got to love and serve my family (and dinner on the table is a good thing, too.) Discerning what to do is easy; doing it is harder. I know too well the ditches and ruts to be avoided. Anxiety. Complaining. Irritability. Selfishness.

For maybe the first time in my life, I want to do something well the first time. No regrets. No looking back and wishing it had been different. And so every day counts. Every mundane, nothing's new, kind of ordinary day .

2 comments:

Wheaton mom said...

I just thought to check in on you before bed! Wise words... I too feel guilty though our circumstances are different --working from home and not spending enough "quality time" with them -- and I somewhat justify it because of Will's broken wrist and cast to his shoulder -- we can't swim, go to the park, camps, etc. But where is the balance: how do I adquately train them and do what I know I should do the first time, as you say (first time obedience for me!), while also doing other things and what priority should those things take! I have two competing lists each day for home and work, and I can't get to the end of either one ever, and there's little more to life than these 2 lists... So maybe this makes you feel better. I told Bryan if I didn't work, I could for sure make cookies every day and do great things with the kids. He wisely pointed out, "Really, because you never did those things before you worked!" Ha, he's right. We're challenged wherever we are; may we both please and honor God with the choices we make.
Thanks for the thought provoking words to close out my day, and I apologize if I'm incoherent; I'm tired!

erin said...

We are lulled into a sense of obligation to entertain our kids. Our true obligation is to TEACH our kids (feeding and clothing them is a given, of course). Boredom teaches creativity. Chores teach responsibility. Time at home (as opposed to playing with friends at the pool) teaches family bonding and love. Of course we interject some "structured fun" to break things up for us as much as them (a lemonade or sno-cone stand, kitchen experiments, bug jars...). We just don't feel that we can give our kids the carte blanche to head off into the street alone like we did when we were kids, so we feel compelled to fill the gap.

What we really want in those boring times is that they not destroy the house, whine or maim their siblings.

Feel free to call me! It's a good way to kill a couple hours ;-)