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First Days of Summer. And ALL the Big Feelings.

Posted by | June 13, 2015 | BAMBINOS | 4 Comments


The see-saw photo was chosen for the top of this post on purpose. Read between the lines, folks: literal and figurative see-saw.

So, it is here. The long awaited glorious days of summer are upon us. The bambinos’ last day of school was Wednesday, so we’re officially on summer “vacation.”

Important to note: the quotes around “vacation” (think big, dramatic 2-hands-with-2-fingers-on-each, in-the-air, AIR QUOTES) are just as important as the word they are around. Mamas, can I get an AMEN?! With the first two full days of summer came all the big feelings. Why do I always forget this will happen? Why do we call kids’ break from school for the summer “summer vacation”???????—- it should simply be called kids’ break from school for the summer. That might help all of us with our expectation-setting. Which might help level out that see-saw a bit?

Thursday morning I had a rude 1st-Morn-of-Summer awakening when the very first words I heard that day were my precious son’s “I’m hungry!” Out of the mouths of babes. Not, “good morning!” or “happy summer!” or “Mommy, I love you so much, you’re the most beautiful woman on the planet!” Not even, “Hi!” Just, “I’m hungry!” Nice. I was determined to let it roll off me. (It helped that he immediately saw the wrong in his ways, and threw himself around me, hugging me and saying, “Oh, right, um, good morning, Mommy, I’m so, so, so, so hungry!”

So, I proceeded with breakfast making. I know, I know, I know. I should make him cook for himself, I should just give him a bowl of cereal, I should get chickens and grow-my-own, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah (these are the sorts of comments I get when I mention Owen and me and our food-related-supply-and-demand relationship). Just do me a favor, and save your time, and don’t leave those comments here today. Ok? I cook for my boy. Is that so wrong? And I like it. I mean, I love it. I mean, truly, for real, some of the time I really enjoy cooking for him/them. And, if I’m being honest, it is also a huge amount of work that is never-endingly-incessant and always-looming and the-quintessential-sort-of-work-that-is-exhausting-in-its-thanklessness.  Anyway…. so, I made breakfast. Now, let’s be clear: the other members of my family eat what I think of as relatively normal amounts. Even Kyle. For the most part. Within reason. But Owen. He’s a different story. It’s a whole other level. The boy requires an insane amount of food to fuel his utter essence. Thursday morning he ate 2 waffles, 1/2 pound bacon, 2 poached eggs, 2 bananas, 2 large glasses OJ.


See-saw up: oh my heavens be, how I love to see my boy eat! The joy! The beauty! The pride in being his mother! Remember, for me, for us, this is especially profound. This is a child who was born into starvation– quite literally. It is never lost on me. I feed him with a pronounced send of purpose and a never-to-be-forgotten-awareness of where he came from and where he’s going. I feed him, I love him, it is summer, we have all the time in the world, I can cook big breakfasts every day and nourish his body-mind-soul. And every day is a gift and aren’t I the most fortunate person in the world to be able to mother these children and have achieved a flexible enough time in my career to allow for me to spend this time feeding-the-heck-out-of-them?! Thank God for tenure! Oh the glory! To be able to have a cup of coffee and watch these precious little lovies eat their breakfast! This is the most beautiful moment imaginable. All is right with the world. Ahhhh, summer!


See-saw down: And then, in a flash, it’s all empty plates and empty glasses (not even half full). There are quick kisses on cheeks and “Thank you Mom!”‘s and they’re off and running to do something that is, surely, either very naughty or very messy, or probably both. Yes, I should make them wash their own dishes and clean the entire kitchen, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But that would be more work than it’s worth; trust me; easier to get to it myself. And I’m left with the dirty work and all the landslide of emotions. Seriously, is this my life? How did this happen? Who am I? What is my purpose on this planet? Do these spoiled brats even know how good they have it? And then the memories come flooding back: this is summer. It is a constant rhythm of cooking-and-cleaning up, creating experiences and picking-up-after them, days dealing with the kids and long-nights-working-to-make-up-for-it. I’m thinking, “maybe the 9-to-5-ers are really on to something here! damn flexible career! damn tenure! damn  motherhood” And I’m left, alone in the kitchen, to make summer happen. And it is a whole heck of a lot of hard work to make it happen. Can’t we just have school all year long?

This is the see-saw of summer folks. The up, the down, the up, the down.

I am grateful for all of it– the ups and the downs. And it is also a messy mix of thoughts and feelings. To be fully present is to not push any of it away.

I am going to try to make this summer awesome. And by awesome I don’t mean just all “up” on the see-saw. I mean I am going to try to be fully present for all of it, and every gradation of the ups and downs. I’m going to try to allow for all the big feelings (and that’s a lot of feelings!).

Our first days of summer included crazy wild playdates with crazy wild friends (we love those kind of friends!). Shout out to Shingles family! Let’s just say that the slip-n-slide Meera got for her birthday has gotten a lot of use in the past few days (and currently has many duct tape patches holding it together).


Meera thought she had died and gone to heaven when she inherited a huge collection of gently used Barbies and a “Barbie Cruise Ship” on Wednesday night. Just in time for summer! Thank you to our dear friends Diane and Claire who have been gifting Meera with many hand-me-downs. The best part is that Diane and I share a mutual hatred for the entire Barbie brand and can roll our eyes at ourselves over the sheer fact that these things are even existing in our homes, let alone that our daughters so freakin’ adore them. Lucky for Diane, her daughter has moved on (she’s 10). Lucky for me, we’re the recipients. It’s all good. Especially for Meera whose forte has always been creative play. Summer means time for uninterupted hours spent in the very best kinds of creative play.

Because with summer comes time. Time for playing Risk with your twin brother. And time for lots of other stuff like that. I never understood why boys liked to play the game Risk. Conquering the world, and all that. But, you know what? Again, it is all good. It is all real, real good. I’ve accepted the fact that my children are gendered beyond belief and that somehow I ended up here (much to my shock and dismay) with a girl playing Barbies and two boys playing Risk. All the big feelings folks, all the big feelings. The good and the bad, it’s all good.IMG_8833

Welcome summer 2015! Bring it on– all the ups and down, the highs and the lows, the cooking and cleaning and the time to pause and take it all in. Summer, I love you! You were worth the long, cold wait!

“I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer. My bank of wild grass is majestic and full of music. It is a fire that solitude presses against my lips.” ~Violette Leduc


  • Jennifer says:

    I love that these are all YOUR big feelings instead of the kids’.

  • Kendall says:

    You mother so beautifully and intentionally, and I’m sorry that people send so much well-intentioned, but overly critical, “advice” your way! I am not yet a mother but you have given me so many wonderful and HONEST insights and examples to guide me when I get there. :)

    I just know this summer is going to be a spectacular one for your family! It’s seems that it’s already gotten off to an amazing start. :)

  • Sharon says:

    Lucky you. Because of the added snow days due to such a snowy winter, school is in session for me until June 25th. That is 9 more school days….but who’s counting.

  • Kate says:

    Happy Summer JMs!! Heather I hear you, thanks for keepin’ it real and glass half full too!

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