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As my kids have been counting down the days to summer vacation, I have been counting them down too. As a teacher, I too look forward to the end of the year—a break from lesson plans, grading, and lectures. I look forward to three months of rest, rejuvenation, and refueling. Everyone has their favorite time of the year. Summer is definitely mine.

 

But wait… I have kids of my own…and they require my attention. Perhaps rest and relaxation will need to be redefined.

 

When my kids were young, I remember wondering how in the world I was going to keep the little cherubs busy for 15 hours a day, 12 weeks in a row. I set up an elaborate calendar of playdates, swim lessons, and activities to keep their minds and bodies active. I tried to make every day a fun adventure. I compiled a list each summer of places we’d visit on sunny days, and places we’d go on rainy days. I took trips to my parents’ cabin, trips to McDonalds, and trips to Daddy’s office—just to let him know how much fun we were having. My kids loved summer, and wanted it to last forever. And part of me loved it too. But by the beginning of August, I was praying for deliverance from my scheduled craziness and together time. The start of the school year felt like a vacation from my summer vacation. 

 

My kids are older now, a teen and a pre-teen. Summer feels different now, and I feel different too. As I look forward to the end of the school year and the start to the greatest 12 weeks of the year, I’ve been doing some planning. But this year’s planning does not involve a lot of the things it used to. This time I’ve made a list of what I’m not going to do. I tried to keep it to a top 5, but I somehow made it to a top 6. Feel free to add your own to the list.

 

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There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.

 —Eccleaiastes 3:1

 

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Once I found her sitting in the bathroom sink. She was fully clothed, and the sink was overflowing as the faucet water continued to cascade down the sink like Niagara Falls as she brushed her teeth with my toothbrush. She was enjoying her self-created mini-pool immensely.

 

Then, I found her in the backyard, “clothed” only in mud from head to toe, running and jumping around like a puppy who had drunk a full can of Red Bull.

 

At my husband’s out-of-town championship softball tournament, she again found a puddle. No surprise, she was covered head to toe in mud with no change of clothes in tow. (Yes, she and mud had a strong affinity from the start.)

 

One time when we were shopping, I turned to grab something off the shelf; when I went to put it in the cart, I was horrified to find it empty. I panicked and started racing around, looking like a crazy woman I’m sure, searching for my little escape artist. I found her a couple aisles away chatting with a stranger, having the time of her life.

 

Then there was the time I was working with my daughter playing by my side, but, the next thing I knew I heard a concerto of sorts on a piano down the hall. I quickly turned to see that she had indeed disappeared. I ran to find my daughter stomping up and down the piano keys, precariously hanging onto the ledge; she was just learning to walk!

 

The times are just too many count. Like when I found her completely emptying my kitchen cupboards. Or sliding down a slide head-first.

 

My daughter kept me hopping. And then some... Can anyone relate?

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