The summer is a magical time for me. It is a time when I don't have to fight with three children to get up, get dressed, and get to school. It is a time when I don't automatically have to say no to playing another game of Candyland with my four-year-old, or to leaving the playground a little bit later. I can actually watch The Daily Show with my teenagers and talk about the thoughts it provokes in their maturing minds. In other words, I am blessed in the summer with being able to enjoy my children without having to worry about getting enough sleep, making appointments, and going to the office.
I know that this is a blessing and I cherish every moment of my time off. I realize that I am luckier than most to have the summer off, even if it means I don't drive a Lexus or summer in the Hamptons. Oh, but with every blessing comes an obligation: to appreciate it, to make the most of it. And so, I start out with some very lofty plans: my daughter and I will do lots of crafts and my boys and I will explore the city and listen to some of the many free concerts. I will market daily to avail myself of the freshest fruits and vegetables, and then prepare tasty and very healthy meals (not the processed "mother's helper's meals" I turn to when I am working). I will have tea with my mother several afternoons a week. We will read together as a family, and take walks after dinner. My apartment will be spic and span all of the time. These are just a few of the plans I make.
Plans, being what they are, are really just goals. For me, goals are healthy ways for me to stay sharp, keep moving, and grow. Even if not every goal is accomplished, a sincere setting of that goal is still good for my soul. So there are nights when I order a pizza, and we might just settle for an evening of cards or a bowl of popcorn and a movie. But we will do what we do together, mostly unhurried, and I will be conscious of the how precious our time together is.