This summer is going to be the summer – the summer. The one where I’m the fun mom, giving my kids freezies and making them homemade popsicles. We have picnics and pull out the sprinkler to cool down. We go to the park every day, and sometimes the pool, because I’m easygoing and nobody ever fights.
This is the summer where playdates happen with classmates every week, and nobody is bored, ever. I will spend hours on Pinterest looking up fun craft ideas and activities, and my children will be amused and entertained.
This is the summer where our camping trips are easy. Where we pack everything we need, with space to spare. We leave our house on time and the kids sleep well each and every night. Bug bites are minimal, and summer colds do not develop while we are away from children’s ibuprofen and antibiotics.
This is the summer where packing for the cottage is a breeze, and we never get stuck in traffic driving out of the city. The lake is warm but the cottage is cool, and the parties are fun and don’t involve kids crying and refusing to brush their teeth.
This is the summer where we go to the library and take out new books every week. My daughter practices reading all the time, and the books are cherished, not bent or coloured on, and certainly never lost.
Am I the only one with high hopes at the beginning of every summer?
I want so badly to create priceless memories for my kids, every year. But this summer, and ultimately every one prior and subsequent to this one, I will let myself down, if not my kids.
There will be endless bickering between my children, and yelling from me. We will miss all kinds of events I promised myself we’d take them to, and be late for the ones we do commit to. We won’t get to the park very often, and the times we reach out to friends for playdates will be exactly when they are away.
I will give my kids freezies and make them popsicles during the first week of summer, but quickly realize that it’s not worth the meltdowns that happen after, so I will scale back. I will take them on a picnic, but only after an entire morning spent in front of the TV, so I could get some work done.
We will camp and cottage successfully, but not without headaches and complaining during the long car rides there and back. I will regret not loading up our devices with new Netflix shows for them to watch, or forgetting to pack their headphones.
I will want to make a cocktail at noon, some days. I will pop open a can of beer at noon, some days.
I will let my kids eat ice cream for lunch, and then regret it. I will let my kids watch TV all day, and then regret it. I will scroll through Pinterest and wish I was craftier, wish I was better at creating special memories for my kids.
And all the while, they’ll be creating special memories of their own.
They’ll remember running to the edge of the dock and jumping off, for the first time, not the fifty times they cried and refused to try. They’ll remember staying up late and watching their parents and grandparents and uncles and aunts laughing, not the meltdown they had while getting ready for bed later that night. They’ll remember that one time they went on a picnic with their mom, not the mornings they spent watching TV.
This summer may not be perfect, to me, but it will be perfect to them.