With the start of any new season of our life, I struggle. I don't consider myself a terribly rigid person, but I need routine, I crave stability, I long to find a rhythm, if not a schedule. Summer is no different. For years, I've loved summer - fun-filled days with my girls, more books than usual, hanging out with friends. But this year, summer already feels short and after starting our summer with a week in Philadelphia, I am having a difficult time settling into a summer rhythm.
Here's what I long for summer to be: days that start with a solitary morning walk, breakfasts accompanied by good books, afternoons at the lake or Cheekwood. Instead, there are liberal doses of reality: dance for A four afternoons per week, speech therapy for K three days per week, Fun Jar on Fridays, summer camps sprinkled here and there.
What I want is a fantasy, not reality - sort of like the life I imagine in the farmhouse in this picture:
I look at this picture and think, "I could breathe if I lived there. Life would be like one long, slow inhale and exhale, not this shallow breathing I do everyday." But I don't live in that farmhouse. I live in a fairly urban neighborhood. Even more importantly, I have three daughters who love dance, friends and staying busy. I'm sure if I lived in that farmhouse, it would be packed to the rafters with friends, activities and dance barres.
Because no matter where we live, my daughters would still be who they are. And I would still be trying my hardest to help them be who they are. This means a different rhythm for my life than I would choose without them around. But at least I'm not dancing alone.
Maybe one day my summers will be as slow paced, peaceful and restful as I imagine. Until then, I'll just pray for the grace to let go of my own preconceived notions and go with the flow as we search for our summer rhythm.