What Lazy Days of Summer?
By Donna Lee Geils
“Mooom-meeee! Can we go to the pool today?” The whiny edge in my 3½-year-old son’s voice tells me he knows what the answer is. The fat, heavy drops of rain are falling with equal intensity outside his window as they are outside the dining room window as I sit, feeding my 9-month-old in her high chair. I steel myself for the oncoming tirade, hoping it will be short.
Ahhh, summer in Florida! It’s mostly either too sweltering or too rainy to go outside, so it doesn’t take long to feel cooped up with two preschoolers at home. The term “Stay-At-Home-Mom” really doesn’t apply to me. I’m more of a “Get-Out-of-Here-Quick-While-the-House-Is-Somewhat-Clean/Unbearably-Messy … Mom.”
My 3½-year-old son is following in my wake. His daily mantra, “Can we go somewhere today?” hangs there, expectant. In fact, he’s taken to asking, as we sing him to bed at night, where we’re going tomorrow. His need to know, coupled with his desire to go beyond the four walls of our house, keeps me on my toes. No “lazy days of summer” allowed here.
Happily, as the organizer of our MOPS summer activities, I have provided my children and myself with lots of opportunities to get out of the house: play-dates, swim days at our YMCA, field trips to local attractions, free kids’ movies at the local cinema, and library story time.
As moms, we get caught up in offering our children as many “experiences” as we can. We forget that sometimes a day at home with nothing but our imaginations to guide us on our next adventure is really a God-given rite of childhood (and motherhood). It could also be the most memorable experience of all.
So, rather than loading the kids into the car and heading for the mall on this rainy day, I reply to my expectant preschooler, “We can’t go anywhere today, we have to build a fort!”
His eyes widen as his mouth drops open in amazement, “Okay!”