Summer months are marked by planning that revolves around camps, vacations and pool time. Running errands, cooking meals and doing laundry are also summer to dos but not as structured as during school months.
(See how I did that? Separated summer from school? It could have been football season, basketball season and summer. But I went with school and summer. That's how our days are divided.)
Back to point at hand.
Fourth parts magically appear because there isn't much to the other parts. Yes, we wake up -- first part. Yes, we get going -- second part. Yes, we end up at home in the evenings readying for the pool or the ice cream man visit -- third part. And, then there is the fourth part where we get to do our own thing. (For example, my girls are trying to roller skate in the house at this moment while I watch TV and write.)
Rarely, is there true planning for the next day. I don't have to worry about 'what are we wearing tomorrow' or 'are backpacks packed' or 'are forms completed' or 'are there any checks to write for something that we bought or ordered'.
But, when there is camp to be had, there is planning. Especially when the camp begins at 8:30 a.m. And, camp requires a nourished camper (breakfast at home) dressed in clean gymnastic leotards and shorts -- oh, and a lunch. Yeah, a packed lunch for a week during the summer. Wait, why?!
When we signed up for camp, that last week in July seemed ages away and well, camp sounded so fun. The early start time each morning didn't register when we signed up during the school year because yeah, school mornings get going a bit earlier.
Then, camp arrived. So each evening, as part of the third part, there was a load of laundry run (we only have three true leotards) and a lunch packed. There was also an early for summer bedtime. No fun. And, first parts involved getting myself ready, finishing the packed lunch and getting the camper up and ready and fed and in the car out the door.
Tired before the second part starts -- in the summer. When we sleep in. When we don't have to worry about juice boxes and bread for sandwiches. When we can wear PJs all day. When the only person leaving the house early in the morning is me.
So, camp was a hit. My camper flipped and tumbled and walked-over and cartwheeled all week and loved it. She was such a hit at the camp that she was asked to take a free two-hour acro class -- consider it pre-Cirque de Soleil stuff.
While I watched the acro class, I knew I had to take care of something else during this particular third part. Not only finish packing for camp, but go to my son's new college campus and help him finish the application process. It was a finishing kind of night.
I left acro with paper work in hand (the cost! $850 for the coach! $500 for uniforms! $500 for competition fees!) and transitioned to another kind of paper work -- official transcripts and shot records.
My camper had flawless back walk overs and all sorts of bends. The enrollment application registration process at this community college not so flawless. Rather, I would use the word flawed.
Again, this is the third part. I'm still in work clothes. I'm lugging my big ol' work purse and my phone battery is at about 3 percent. That flawed process included discovering my son had a TSI hold. What is this TSI and why is there a hold? Something about his math equivalent from his previous college didn't qualify him -- so he would either have to take a test or take a class for zero credit and some dollars. Como se what?! As I repeated over and over again we didn't need to take a math -- notice I transitioned from my son and his requirements to 'we' -- we already had the college credit for that, and I repeated over and over again we didn't need to have to take a test because we have already been in college and somehow miraculously got accepted into that college so all we have to do is take 14 or 15 hours of credits that will transfer to another school in the spring because we were only going to this school for a semester so technically he was a transient student even though it wasn't in the summer and yes, I can have access to his records because here is the FERPA so enter that in even though we have this TSI hold and we can get this taken care of tonight because we leave for vacation tomorrow and we can get registered for the advising session where we can register for class even though there is this TSI hold that only the woman in assessments upstairs can release so we can head up there and hopefully we can get everything done by 7 p.m. because this spot closes and we need a drink!
Oh, I can do a dramatic re-enactment of my interaction with the staff at this school including this pulling of the long bangs over the eyes by the TSI hold informant.
Relief did come and the hold was released when we went and found the mystery assessment woman upstairs. Get this, we had to log into my son's ACT and SAT scores from one year ago to confirm his math scores were qualified to have him qualify to attend a school that, hold your breath, is open enrollment.
I still don't know what TSI stands for and I don't really understand the hold. I do know that the evening of the acro class and TSI hold releasing presented as the biggest third part one could encounter during the summer months.
The fourth part on the eve of the last tumbling camp class and the eve of the day we left for vacation and the eve where I almost needed someone to hold me back from jumping over a counter and grab some scissors to cut off long bangs was something we call around here as well deserved.
I guess that's the beauty of fourth parts. They are what is needed each and every single day. No matter the events of the day, no matter the complexities and intricacies of the first through third parts, no matter the amount of time allocated to a fourth part -- they are needed.
God promises and grants rest. He provides the grace we need for each and every day. He asks we focus on Him realizing the days for now are leading up to something bigger and better and eternally good.
All without having to flip and cartwheel are way through it and all without a TSI hold. No test required. No class to take without credit. No dollars to spend on a coach or uniforms. Just the statement we need Him. Just the recognition we need Him.