I resisted the urge to make a detailed schedule for every day. I have a basic routine, and I'm planning the day out ahead of time as much as I can in terms of getting work done and keeping the house semi-clean, but I have been praying that the Lord would help me be spontaneous. I made a list of priorities for this summer: continue spiritual disciplines, be present for Christian and the boys, care for our home, allow the boys plenty of time for physical activity, and seek to spend time with friends. Past that, I wanted everything else to be flexible.
Thursday morning a friend reached out to ask if anyone could help her with her boys. I had planned a trip to the library and rest time for the boys, but we quickly changed plans and welcomed her boys to the pool with us, where we played and ate lunch.
This morning I had planned to give the boys a hair cut and then run some errands, but a friend from church texted to see if we wanted to have a playdate. We finished the haircuts and headed to the park, and just did the other errands later in the day.
Friday we had 6 moms and 13 kids over to swim and eat a picnic lunch. I am an introvert, and large groups are not necessarily my forte, but the kids played and the moms talked and we finished the time with a box of popsicles.
What has been remarkable about these things has been the lack of anxiety I have felt. I was so anxious about being anxious this summer, but as I've been willing to lay down things that aren't urgent, and as I've opened us up to fellowship and flexibility, I have not found anxiety waiting for me there. I've found peace and refreshment.
It's still vital that I get up before the boys to drink my coffee and read my Bible. If I don't take care of my introverted and spiritual needs, I'm wasted by the end of the day.
I've also realized that because of the events of last summer that led to me being non-functional from the middle of July until school started, and which led to me counting down the days until school started because I felt that if it didn't come soon, I might suffocate... I have associated my boys with anxiety. Those days were so awful, and I was so not myself, but those were my last memories of being with my boys all day. It's not severe enough to be categorized as post-traumatic stress, but part of me wonders if there's some truth to that. I have a hard time remembering last summer before everything fell apart, although my husband tells me that I had the same dread about last summer, and yet, mid-June, I told him that things were good. I don't remember that. All I remember is the bad.
This summer I'm seeing the good. I'm just enjoying these two boys, seeing them as the blessings they've always been.
We are talking about deep things, and they are sharing with me the things they love. During the school year, Cohen especially talked little about what went on at school. But now that school is past, he's being much more descriptive about his friends and what he liked about school.
I hope we can continue to live in these rhythms. To be spontaneous (which has always been a hard thing for me), to spend time with family and friends, to not be rushed.
Most of all, I'm thankful that I am loved by a God who knows better than me what I need. Where I thought I couldn't live without quiet, without alone time, he is showing me how to be refreshed by two of the people I love most.