We are back in MN. We didn’t follow the original travel plan but the best part of driving is you can change the plan.
The transition back to ‘normal summer’ took just a little bit. Kids are playing, swimming, friends visiting, bikes are ridden, chores are somewhat done and a little bit too much TV is watched. I made the rule that as soon as I get up the TV goes off, that does get me a little more time in the morning. It doesn’t go on again until late afternoon and the plan was they had their chores and list stuff done but see sentence 2 about how plans go sometimes. They actually don’t ask much anymore because if they know they didn’t do ‘the list’ they are going to get sent on a task so they mostly fill the time with epic imagination games.
I also had a good conversation with a friend about how boredom is good for kids. Gives them time to reflect and think about stuff. Their little brains need time to marinate and mature. They are also quite ready for school to start even though we still have about 2 weeks to go still.
Our 2 weeks in PA were fun. Got to see nearly everyone we wanted to and some people we didn’t even expect. A random ‘best moment’ happened when a bunch of us were actually waiting for someone. We decided to just sit on the ground under a great shade tree and it was like transporting back in time to the teen years with no pressing responsibility and just hanging out with friends. The moment was fleeting as time passed and we actually were responsible for things but it was a memorable moment.
I got home early enough to actually get to another SCA event. Semi-independent kids make all the difference, they went to classes and played with kids – thanks to the kind kid-friendly teachers willing to let a pleasant 7-year-old bang away on leather for an hour or more. **I actually do watch them and do ‘drive-bys’ but I don’t want them to see me so unless I see trouble I keep away.** They are learning independence in a very safe place but I also don’t want people reading and thinking I just let them free range and be other peoples responsibility. It was a nice little event overall even though it ended with some drama, this isn’t the place for details but I want the note to future self if I ever need it.
Earlier in the summer, I came to the realization that summer is NOT the time to try and do big projects since we are actually pretty busy with kids and travel and fun summer stuff. We got some things done early on but I’m putting a hold on my personal expectations until after school starts because then I’ll have some uninterrupted time to work with. Without the pressure to constantly do stuff, I’ve gotten stuff done anyway. We got our ring doorbells installed, replaced a ceiling fan, added electronic door locks, and super cleaned the pantry. The to-do list still exists and I still try to do something productive daily but giving myself the break was a good idea – highly recommend it.
And now we are as up to date as a blog post covering nearly a month can be. Onward to back to school shopping today, state fair this weekend, friends visiting next weekend and who knows what all in between.
Today I opened my laptop for the first time in nearly 2 weeks. It sounded like a pinball machine dinging with all the alerts and messages that it had qued up in its little body. I’ve been having a great time with just my phone, a few facebook posts, skim the emails for anything urgent and basically back in the bag.
I’m on our traditional 2-week camping adventure in PA. Every year is a little different, every year it is nicely the same. I can nearly walk the site with my eyes closed but each year there are new areas I become more acquainted with. This year I got to participate in a cool ceremony for a person I think is great, it was a once in a lifetime experience and I’m am so glad I was in a position to do it. This year is also 100% less stressful. Sure, still a bit of stress over this or that – a difficult person, random drama, or, an uncontrollable situation but since I’m not at max stress from moving it is all much more manageable.
Why do I vacation in a place that is built to be not relaxing? I’m trying harder this year to take a break here and there but old habits die hard.
The positives, aside from the role I got to play included giving a fun camp tour, watching my kids excel at boffer, seeing my kingdom have a great time on the field, seeing two friends new babies, tons of time to have conversations with friends from various points in my life, I’ve helped a few people out, built a great camp, attended a class I’ve been meaning to get to and even the weather has been really pretty good. The kids have hit a milestone of being able to be (even) more independent and it is very nice to know they are happy and taken care of by our fabulous nanny, and, she isn’t frazzled because they are overall less needy. We are growing into the tween phase that includes boys stopping over but I gave a stern lecture to my camp family against any threats against any boy. The adults do mean well, but, “I’ve got a shovel” is a threat that we need to let go of. It isn’t cool the threaten kids, and, if you don’t mean it (and they really never did) don’t waste your words on something people auto-dismiss. Slowly slowly we can shift away from empty threats that imply our children are helpless. I think the phrase that actually hit home was when I asked them to think about if they had a son and someone said that to them – I’m sure the parents of the boy who has been hanging around did as good a job as me, and, I would be pretty offended if I heard someone threaten my child based on nothing but their age and gender. I also want the kids where I can see them so having the camp that is friendly is one of my goals.
I’m short on my hour of internet here, I got the mundane life details dialed in and the bills paid. No matter how vacation brain I am, bills still need attention and an hour now prevents a ton of problems later. Next up I pack up Lars who could only join us for a few days and then Friday we put this all back it the box and move on to vacation part 2 – the NY phase. I’m visiting family and friends and I can’t wait to see them even though I’ll be missing Lars and the house and pets and friends at home. Pennsic, as always, is a special time and place and I’m glad we can come.