I view summer vacation like a blanket, a comforting retreat where we can relax under the threads of warm, hazy days. There were trips, summer camps, and adventures to anticipate. We could also be spontaneous. We could be lazy. We could get dressed…or not. We could go out…or stay in. We could let ice cream drip down our wrists and spend all day in our bathing suits. There would be a perpetual stream of sand inflitrating the crevices of the car, never really shaken from our flip flops or the beach tote. Towels would hang from the deck railings and chalk drawings would dominate the pavement.
It was on the way home from a family trip when I felt the strands unraveling from this blanket. We were cruising through the vast endlessness that is Virginia. The road stretched on for miles, and with hours of driving ahead of us, there was no immediate end in sight.
Boredom had already begun to set in and that’s when the whining started, then the crying and fighting. I was slightly devastated by the sudden realization that I had already had enough of summer; the knowledge that there were still six more weeks ahead was detrimental to my sanity.
In between that road trip and today we had many more adventures. It was experiences like SoulFest, Canobie Lake Park and VBS that got us through the empty calendar boxes, those days when we all just had enough of each other.
This morning I woke up knowing that our biggest days were behind us, even the blessed break of camp had passed. What would we do with the final two weeks of summer? I sat up in bed, trying to squelch the anxiety creeping in. My kids are sick of me and they are sick of each other, fighting more often than they are getting along. Every one of us needs a break from being together, but how do you accomplish that when there is no time scheduled where we can actually miss each other?
That still small voice in my heart reassured me that we could do this, that we could get through this together, as a team. I reflected on all the fun we had, all the great moments we experienced these last couple of months. We didn’t have the best days every day, but that’s what made those best days the greatest. There were big moments and there were little moments, and despite the ones that went sour, it truly was a beautiful summer.