It's happening again.
The Calm Before the Next Storm.
The Lull Between the Chaoticness.
In our family, we stay pretty darn busy with the kids' sports, school clubs, Science projects, band concerts, fundraisers, school dances, study groups, theater practices and so on. Typically, we are running to and from these types of assorted activities ... and it's been especially chaotic since our move to the country a few years ago. We used to live right in town where our kids' schools are at, where the community theater is and where all of our activities take place. Now, we are fifteen minutes away.
Oh, and it's getting even crazier due to the fact that our youngest is now old enough to be starting sports. Now, we have three involved with extra-curricular activities.
I'm the type of mom who has kids with a busier schedule than I have. Which, in turn, makes me have a busy schedule. I love this. I cherish this! I am lucky to be able to be at stay-at-home parent. My husband is jealous.
For the record, I have seriously contemplated painting the mini van bright yellow with a black and white checkered pattern on the side. (Is it wrong to charge your own kids cab fare?)
However, at this moment we are in-between the craziness. Baseball and softball season just ended for our younger two. For six weeks, we lived and breathed ball games. I joked that I should have just set up a tent along the ball field because we, practically, lived there for like, forty-some days! Having children in sports affects pretty much everything. Our dinner schedule was off. We lived out of our take-along cooler. The van was full of balls and bats and gloves and forgotten sports bottles and lawn chairs. (Yes, I know ... a run-on sentence!) I didn't bother taking care of their freshly-laundered ball pants, team shirts, belts and ball caps ... I just learned to live with them out in plain site (they'd be putting them back on the next day!). Concession-stand popcorn and juice boxes was dinner a couple of times. (Don't call the Mom Police!) And, I cannot count how many times we were ready (I thought) to walk out the door while running late to a game only to hear "Mom, I can't get this double knot undone on my cleats!"
So, now that ball season is over, we have several weeks until volleyball season begins. And, the next theater try-out is still a wee bit away. So, this is our "downtime." Isn't it weird how you go, go, go for weeks, then it's all over and you realize you don't remember how to live life without doing what you've been doing for the past two months?
During the chaotic, busy times, you crave and yearn for days of nothingness! Then, when you have it, you wander through the house wondering what to do with all that free time!
I am lost. My kids are lost.
We're involved with a summer reading program through the library right now. Besides reading at home, it requires a one day a week gathering in the town park. That's it.
There seems to be a reoccurring process to our lives in this house. For the first couple of days after an activity ends, we catch up on sleep and catch up on housework. We relish laying around and enjoying each other's company. Then, the realization that we could spend days not leaving the house if we chose not to hits us! Then, so begins the need to fill our days with "busyness."
Except for this time, I decided not to. This time, I told the kids we were going to thoroughly enjoy the "downtime" and make the most of it. And, not feel lost doing so.
So, recently, we've read more books together. We've played more board games together. We stayed up super late watching movies and enjoyed sleeping in until noon the following day! The kids swim in the pool a lot. They have been getting together with friends. We've been baking and cooking together. We play nightly UNO games after dinner with my husband home. We do crafts and color. They go berry-picking and tease the outdoor cats with catnip.
And, sometimes ... we just do nothing. We sit on the couch or lay across their beds and talk and giggle and relax. And, it feels wonderful!