It’s the last full week of summer before school starts next week. The last full week. As I sit here, my mind is spinning thinking on all the last minute details that come along with this season. Appointments. School supplies. Back to school clothes. Dragging backpacks and lunch boxes out of retirement. Bedtimes. Routine. Ready or not, the freedoms of summer are fading, and the structure of fall is upon us. Summer always seems to fly by, but somehow this summer feels like it went even faster than ever.
Somehow, in my mind, there should be more time left. There should be more memories to be made. More time to do all the things we said we’d do. And then in the midst of back to school list making, my mind begins to shift: we should have done more; we never made that special craft we talked about; we never took that spontaneous day trip. I should have been better. Why didn’t I? We should have. We could have…and then I have to stop the lies in my head.
We took the sunset walks. We swam in the pool. Went on vacation. Snuggled on the couch. Had picnics in the yard. Caught frogs and fireflies. Played Barbies and tractors, tag and baseball. We stayed up late and slept in. We lived.
Then the phrase eighteen summers comes back to mind. We see this message everywhere, and it really is such good perspective. It shows us just how little time we actually have with our kids as kids, but sometimes I look at these words and put entirely too much pressure on us. Pressure for perfect. Pressure for magic all the time. Unrealistic expectations on what we should do and how we should feel. And so I’m striving for perspective without the pressures of perfection this last week and on into the school year. I’m working toward finding magic in the small. I’m trying to accept the realities that motherhood can be mundane and small at times…and that’s ok, too.
Finding magic in the small…
Truth is, summer is magical in and of itself. Childhood is magical in and of itself. We don’t have to provide the magic. It exists in the fire flies and the swing set, in swim days and coloring at the kitchen table. We don’t have to create special, it’s already there. And when, we stop and remember that, the pressure releases and we can truly enjoy and give ourselves the grace we need to enjoy the eighteen summers and the eighteen years without destroying our sanity. ⠀
Do you find yourself placing unrealistic expectations on your days and yourself? Do you ever feel pressure to create moments? Let’s stop putting so much pressure on ourselves, mamas. That hug you just gave your child, or push on the swing, that meal you just made…that was a moment right there. And it was good and beautiful. And it’s what they’re really going to remember of us.
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