Who Are You and What Have You Done With My Children?

I’ve been dreading “doing” summer this year because last year it was so horrible.  It seemed that dropping our schedule of daily academics and structured chores resulted in complaining spirits, crankiness, and a total abandon when it came to housework.  (And that was just me.)  Just kidding.  My middles seemed to be constantly making a mess, arguing with each other, or having a meltdown about one thing or another.

It was obvious they and I needed a break, though, from school, but it was really trading one stress for another.

This year as June approached, we were ready for a break again, but I didn’t know how I was going to survive another summer like last year.  But I put my big girl boots on and dove headfirst into summer, prepared for battle.  Know what?  The battle never came.  Well, it is only the middle of June, so I guess I shouldn’t get too cocky.

My kids are walking around the house saying things like, “Mom, what can I do to help?”  “Mom, I’ll watch the babies for you.”  “Mom, can I help with dinner?”  “Mom, if I go and get the spaghetti sauce (from the grocery aisle shelf), can I check it off on the Ipad?”  “Oh, can I go get the yogurt?”  “Eden, let’s play store.”  “Andres, you can use my crayons as long as you put them back when you’re finished.”  “Mom, can I have my devotion book?”

As I experience this day after day, the first question I ask myself is what is different about this summer?  I know I haven’t graduated to sainthood during that time.  I haven’t made any drastic change in my parenting technique.  The kids are a bit older . . . but that can’t be it, because I think they are actually acting a lot better than they were in the last days of our school year.

It’s gotta be the YMCA.  I’m serious.  This is the second summer we’ve joined.  With all the new therapies and doctor appointments, we’re having to really watch what we spend, so I think we’re extra conscious of the $80 a month we’re spending for the membership.  That means we are taking the kids swimming at least three nights a week just to convince ourselves it was money well spent.  I really think that time together, out of the house, getting exercise, enjoying each other for an hour or two a night is paying off big time during the day.  Who woulda thought?

Swimming may be good exercise and great for gross motor skills, but I’ll tell you what – if they only thing that $80 was buying me a month was the kind of attitude I’m seeing in the kids, I’d still pay it – gladly!

How about you?  What’s the best money you ever spent?  How do you “splurge” and what’s the payoff?

Happy Saturday, y’all.

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