Summer. While not my favorite season because, well, hot, it's a favorite season. I love summer because there's no school. No lunches to pack. No homework to fret over. No real bedtime rules and no rules around showering. OK, there are rules because well, summer. It's hot, ya'll.
With a relaxed schedule, we can take a break from rigorous meal planning. I love a meal plan and during the school year we spend Sundays planning meals for the week. In the summer, we plan but the schedule isn't built around school events or practices, it's constructed around swimming and badminton.
(We have a badminton net in our back yard and try as we might, our rallies are not as inspiring or jaw dropping as the Olympics version of the racquet and birdie. We cheer when a serve is returned.)
(It always starts out as fun with some laughter and encouraging words of 'oh almost' and then quickly turns to 'get it' and 'come on.')
(I usually walk inside when it gets too intense.)
When we are outside after it cools off . . . to around 90 degrees rather than 452 degrees . . . we play badminton and Camille starts flipping. She pulls out the practice beam and mats so she can practice. She has drive and determination. She will try and try and try and try to get a skill. We have to tell her to stop and come inside. We can see when she gets tired. But she continues. I mean, the persistence.
Outside during the summer in the evenings is a good fourth part. We are together. We are having fun. We have endless time. Remember, no homework or bedtime requirements.
Oh, wait. We have gymnastics each morning. We do get to sleep in a bit longer and this summer we do have carpool. (I love writing that. I've never had a carpool.)
Three families meet each morning at the CVS close to our house. Then, we all meet up again in the afternoon for pick up. We've had a few days of hang out and play after practice -- swimming, ice cream and juice bar are some of the outings the girls enjoyed. Camille comes home and takes a nap. Caroline rests, too.
When I've had vacation this summer, the afternoon nap time has been so pleasurable. Quiet. Everyone then gets up and goes for the rest of the day refreshed.
Getting up in the morning for gymnastics is a different pace for us. Camille wakes up on her own and gets dressed. I make her breakfast, we do devotion and I pull back her hair. Each evening, we pack her backpack with a lunch and water bottle. We get it done quickly because we like to then sit in a fourth part.
A couple of evenings this summer, there have been tears, though. Camille has struggled with one of her skills. Really struggled. She cried a few times and was just sad and quiet at other moments. We encouraged her and assured her the coach wouldn't ask her to do something she wasn't capable of taking on. After a few days, we decided to email the coach. Wow, the insight. The coach responded that this was the first skill Camille had struggled through and just didn't get right away. She had to build up to the ability of completing a back handspring on the high beam.
(I cannot imagine even doing a back handspring on the floor, much less a low or high beam.)
The coach talked with her and her attitude changed overnight. She understood some of the skills will take pushing through. She will have to struggle and work. Good thing she is persistent. She will not give up.
I wish I had persistence like Camille when it came to eliminating processed sugar from my diet. All summer, I have had a daily goal of no sugar. And, most days, I've had sugar. Some days it's only a bite of ice cream or a handful of Skittles. Other days, I'm eating a couple of brownies or Oreos. Why oh why can I not stop the sugar? It does not do a body good. It affects my skin and isn't helpful in the weight loss arena.
I rationalize that bite of deliciousness in the evening by telling myself I worked out and ate good all day. Boy, I struggle. Ideally, I'd eliminate all sugar in my house. Uh, I've two littles and a husband who can eat the sugar and not be bothered a bit. Sure, that isn't the best type of food to have on hand, but hey, it's summer.
(Caroline just shoved a powdered sugar doughnut hole in her mouth right now as I'm typing this. I don't even like them, but it sure looked good.)
(I haven't had sugar today . . . do you think I will make it through the evening. Does rose wine count?)
These struggles Camille and I face are not monumental. They are our struggles. I have friends who have had tremendous struggles this summer. Some have persisted and pushed through them, others are still sitting in them. Some have turned to medication. Some have cried and cried.
No matter the drive you have sometimes we have to struggle through things.
Makes me want some sugar.