Callum is out of school for the summer. We have summer childcare lined up, and it starts next week, so we've weathered the craziness that was this week of cobbled-together childcare to fill the gap between school and our summer plan. The freakishly cold weather we had for most of May has ended, and it's been in the 70s and 80s daily, with more of the same in the forecast. Our tickets to Germany for our summer trip are booked. Everyone has a full summer wardrobe in their current size, including swimsuits with long-sleeved rashguards (it's Colorado and our kids are very fair - we are extremely uptight about sun protection). We are ready to go.
We haven't planned any specific activities. No camps, no classes. We're taking a break from swim lessons for the summer because our gym doesn't offer them on Saturdays in the summer, and the kids will spend every day at the outdoor pool anyway. I remember that last summer Callum, despite wearing a Puddle Jumper at all times, made great strides with his swimming because he was getting so comfortable, so confident, willing to try new things like jumping in without someone catching him and going down the water slide. I'm hoping for more such gains from both kids this time around.
Annika's daycare runs into July--it's just two days a week, so those are days when Callum will get some one-on-one time with our nanny and get to do activities without his baby sister tagging along. I'm thinking things like riding the light rail to the children's museum, or the water park - all-day outings without the need to consider the baby's nap or haul along the stroller and diaper bag. And that still leaves three days a week for them to both be there and play together, which they both love.
Sadly, Torsten and I are using all our banked vacation time for the trip to Germany, which means it will be work as usual for the two of us the rest of the summer, but the glorious thing about summer is that, even if we can't spend every day at the pool with the kids, the evenings are warm and bright, the weekends are lovely, and we all get lots of outdoor time. All of us in this family are of the type who are just happier when we're outside. Not necessarily camping among the bugs using leaves as toilet paper - but slightly more urban outdoors, lounging on our nice patio chairs while our kids romp around the yard... THAT is totally our style. (Why am I suddenly get the feeling that glamping would be right up our alley? Except if it comes down to that I would really prefer to just straight-up stay in a five-star hotel. Alas, our vacation budget has been maxed out on this Germany trip, so there's no glamping OR Ritz-Carlton in our future.)
Now that we're coming out of the fog of the infant years, I'm starting to see why so many parents are so obsessed with the weather. Warmth and sun mean we aren't cooped up! We can leave the patio door open and the kids can romp in and out! Our kitchen window faces out onto the backyard, which is fully fenced and hazard-free, and that means that I can cook dinner while keeping an eye on the kids out the window and nobody is squawking at me or weeping for me to come play a game with them RIGHTTHISSECOND or or or.
Summer means sun and warmth and lazy evenings and everything just going a beat slower. It means no rushed morning routine because I'm not trying to get two kids out the door for school and daycare. It means less crankiness and simpler interactions and less stress. It just means a more relaxed feel to our days. It's really, surprisingly pleasant. I feel like the glaze of having a baby is lifting, and we're getting to a good place, and summer is really reinforcing that for me.
This is the first time I've had such a strong reaction to a season. Now: to work on enjoying it while it lasts instead of dreading the fact that in a few months it will be over. Sigh.
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