How is your summer going? Have you embarked on a new adventure? Have you taken some time to relax and enjoy what surrounds you? Have you made any new friendships? Have you been able to strengthen the current bonds that mean so much to you? How is this summer different from last summer?
Living in Minnesota, summer can never arrive fast enough. When the days finally do start getting brighter, warmer and greener, we acknowledge that we must vehemently tackle our summer to-do lists to get the most out of these beautiful days of flip-flop wearing, patio dining, water play, travel and outdoor exploring. After the Fourth of July, summer always flies by and before we know it, it is already time for the Minnesota State Fair. I love the State Fair, don’t get me wrong. There is nothing better than gorging on cheese turds, deep-fried pickles and a variety of delicious treats on a stick. But man, how did we get here so quickly?
I don’t want this summer to end. My children have been sleeping in later. We spend as much time as we can outdoors. We have visited places we have never been to before. We spray each other from the hose while watering the garden, and we giggle about it. We have been harvesting radishes, kale, lettuce, basil, cucumbers and tomatoes from our own garden. We have dirt under our fingernails. The dust is accumulating on the shelves inside our home. The plants in our yard are blooming and growing taller. The same load of laundry has been sitting in the dryer for four days now. My son learned how to fish. My daughter is now potty-trained. My husband continues to give to us. And here I am, just letting it all soak in. I haven’t written a word since my last post in June. I’ve been here just letting it all soak in.
I don’t want summer to end. I don’t want my husband to start up class again in the fall because I don’t want to give up the fun adventures I have had with my husband and kiddos on the weekends. I don’t want my son to start Pre-K because I don’t want to give up the freedom we now have to make or toss out our own schedules for the day or week. I don’t want my daughter to turn three later this week because I will have to acknowledge that my baby is no longer a baby and she is growing up faster than I can handle. I don’t want summer to end, so I have been soaking it all in.
Soak in the sun. Soak in the warmth. Soak in the bright color of the sky and grass. Soak in the laughter. Soak in all of the moments. We work so hard. We work so hard to provide for our families. We work so hard to stand out and prove that we have something valuable to offer in this world. We work so hard to achieve our goals or to discover what our goals may be. We work so hard to eliminate our worries and to find more enjoyment and happiness. We work so hard so that we can feel deserving of what we gain and achieve. But the truth is, we are already deserving. And I hope you are soaking it all in every chance you get.
This summer has been a gift. Being able to stay home with my children for over a year now has been a gift. My family is a true gift from God. Summer may be ending soon, my husband and son will be starting their own adventures this fall at school, my daughter and I will be able to share more moments together, and I will continue to observe, explore and soak it all in. Summer may be over soon, but it is just a season. These days we have with each other are the greatest gifts we can receive. The worries and stress that weigh us down may never go away, no matter how hard we work, but there is much happiness and enjoyment to be found in each day. And we deserve to soak it all in.
Some days are difficult to get through, some days bring more laughter than others, and many days go by too fast. We don’t know how many days we will have on this earth. We don’t know how many days we will have with each other. We don’t know how much time we have to complete our bucket lists or to achieve our goals. All we can do is live life one day at a time. All we can do is encourage each other. All we can do is keep giving and trying. All we can do is soak it all in and be proud and thankful for what we have before us.
There may only be a few weeks of summer left, but the gifts that are before us each day are plentiful. How is your summer going? What are you soaking in these days?