IMG_5792I don’t want to.

It is as simple as that.

I just don’t want to.

For years I have made great efforts to try to ensure a lively and fun summer for the kids – full of the activities and outings we seldom have time for during the “school” part of our year. I compiled lists of local activities, took them to parks, enrolled them in music camp, and even cajoled my husband into some traveling. By the time September came around, I would still feel guilt about the days we did “nothing.” Guilt because somehow I got the notion that I was letting my kids down if they didn’t get to go camping. Guilt that I was short-changing them on their childhoods.

Admittedly, I did not have this kind of childhood. I remember some family outings but mostly my parents did what they did and we never expected anything else. I know I envied my friends who took family vacations, went to Disneyland, or family reunions. I wasn’t devastated but I did want to have the kind of family that took time to be together, to make memories, to enjoy each other’s company. So I carry this “child” want into my life as a parent. I want them to have what I didn’t get.

Summers past
Summers past

But they have had holidays, and trips, and camping, and music camp, and time … lots and lots of my time. When is it enough? When do I stop trying to fill that hole that lives just inside my chest and recognize that stuffing things into them will never change what is past – and acknowledge that it is in the better interest of myself and my children if I slow down and take a breath.

Now is the time.

This summer is – the summer of Mum.

We shall stay home, and I will read. We shall stay home, and I will rest. We shall stay home, and I will not feel guilty.

They will have my time, my energy, my attention – here, at home – and together this too will become a cherished memory. These the lazy days of summer 2015.