You know, those cheesy essays your teacher would have you write on the first day of class? Well these are my musings on what I discovered throughout the course of the summer as a momma, student and friend.
1. This has been the best summer I can remember in a very LONG time.
And here is why:
2. We now live in a town with beaches, parks and friends within in walking distance practically.
3. The beach was our second home: I made it my mission to get to the beach at least 2-3x a week or any morning or afternoon it did not rain. Mission accomplished. Isabel and I are browned by the sun, sunkissed and rejuvinated. She overcame her fear of waves ( loved watching her point out the next wave to crest and saying 'bye waves' when she was done). I loved sitting by the water's edge building mud castles and having the sea water lap my feet. I loved watching Isabel run up and down the beach endlessly, discovering puddles, shells and other kids' cooler buckets/digging implements. I loved how the beach tired her out like no other and enjoyed her 2-3 hr. naps (Oh yah DVR catch up).
4. Parks were full of adventure: I watched Isabel scale the playground structures with ease and slide on her own. We found two parks that are enclosed by a fence making it easier for me to sit and observe her without hovering or fearing she'd just take off (anyone with a toddler can relate). Just today, I marveled at how she sits on a big kid swing and doesn't fall off (2 ft off the ground).
5. Friends have come along: I know that they always do but flashing back to January when we moved, I was pretty sad to leave my special group of mamas that basically know Isabel from birth. Well, God has provided several great opportunities to renew old friendships. I have really enjoyed the comraderie and fun we have had exploring parks, farms and new and old haunts. What I have loved the most though is watching Isabel make friends. It makes my heart swell that when we get up on a Tuesday she basically knows that a play date with Lizzie. She even has a special chair at her table where Lizzie sits and she tells me in the morning "Lizzie's chair, mama'. To that I nod and assure her we will see them soon. And yes, I am guilty of using going to see Lizzie as way to proven dawdling to the car.
6. We went upta camp: I spent more time upta camp this summer than I have in 3 years. I especially enjoyed how Isabel loved all the things I did as a kid, running up and down the camp road, swimming, picking blueberries,boat rids, eating dessert at gram's and going for walks. I have such special memories of Maine and my family that also cherish it. Gram and Gramp glowed when Isabel was around and my mom just loved running her all around. I loved the down time and soaking it all in.
7. Visiting with family has been my mission this summer: I saw J's relatives that were living abroad when they visited for 2 weeks almost everyday. It was special to catch up with the kids and have them meet Isabel. Their youngest and Isabel really hit it off. Also, I saw my Aunt and cousin from out of state and my grandparents who were upta camp all summer. Its so important to me that Isabel knows her family and gets to see them as much as possible.
8. J and I got some down time: whether it was a quick dinner out or a movie, J and I got some time together which is highly under recognized as being important to a marriage. We also made some really awesome family memories including trips to the beach, even a picnic at night one time. We took Isabel for ice cream and wagon rides as well as to the farmers' market.
9. I got some snuggle time and walks in with my pups: Its been different living in a more populated area that its hard to walk the dogs and Isabel. So lately, I have been walking them alone after she goes to bed and J is home. It has been blissful soaking in the salty evening air and watching the boats going down the river, imagining one day we will have a boat. Also, Isabel has been sleeping better so I have loved snuggling the pups.
10. I have gained perspective as a mother: At the start of the summer, I had trepidation about being home every day all day with a busy toddler. I was in a certain routine and afraid I would not be able to keep days stimulating enough for us. Let's be honest, some days especially at the start or when the weather was bad, felt long and somewhat dull. However, as the summer evolved, I made each day an adventure and challenged myself to do different activities and new things. It would have been easier to watch Mickey Mouse Club House 10x than lug all out stuff and Isabel to the beach or bake in the heat of the park play ground but so worth it. I know she is young but we are setting up patterns and still making memories. We bonded through our activities and her language is exploding. It is so fun to see what she will say and how she makes connections.
Ending this summer has been unexpectedly harder than I thought.
I figured I would feel sad and dread going back because I was in a new job and all that first day jittery stuff would get me. I thought I would feel ready for her to go to school because after all we were getting on each other's nerves a bit.
Starting back this week has been rough. Starting with Isabel getting her suit and towel first thing Monday morning and saying 'Beach, mama?' gah, that hurt. Can't say I didn't cry hard after J took her to school and honestly its Wednesday and I am still crying. Unfortunately, we are all sick with a cold now and she got several bug bites (none until now for the summer) so its has turned me into obsessive over protective mamma mode or oopmm for short ;-). I am so scared she'd get a mosquito born virus or hate school or something. But just in Isabel fashion she surprised me Tuesday when we got to school she jumped down out of my arms and said 'bye momma' and blew a kiss.
I guess she was ready.
I should note that I am not working full times, but 3 days a week so I can savor the two week days we have. I am however, starting a new job that will be more intensive and stressful. So I am feeling torn over the whole start of the school year.
In the end I am taking stock in this summer. Leaving it on a high note and with many many many memories to cherish for my lifetime.
So its bittersweet but necessary. In the end, I know my working is good for Isabel. I am starting in a career path that will help her become college educated and hopefully have a mom who is a good role model for her.
*sigh* but it doesn't make taking her to school tomorrow *feel* easier.