Summer Month One

We made it through the first month of summer vacation. We’re squarely into our fifth week now. Only 8.5 weeks to go!

I have some mommy friends (delightful creatures, every one) who seem to be thoroughly enjoying the lazy days of summer with their kiddos home from school. They are vacationing, taking it easy, enjoying every moment. I want to be there! But I have to be here in my own skin. And my skin is busy with work projects.

It’s not going badly. We are doing some fun things: swimming some afternoons, play dates, pottery class, etc. Lucas has enjoyed most of the daytime activities I’ve set up for him so far. The summer playgroup I set up has met twice already and will meet again this Friday. I’m a little worried about next week because although it seemed like Lucas had a good time at Camp Fair Oaks, when it was all over he said he didn’t like it. I have him signed up for another week of Camp Fair Oaks next week and I can’t get my money back. I’m anticipating a tantrum.

Lucas and I are both really enjoying pottery class. We go on Tuesday evenings for an hour and 15 minutes. We’ve learned several different clay sculpting methods (pinch pot, coil, slab, and throwing on a potter’s wheel). Using the potter’s wheel was w o n d e r f u l. I loved it and I hope to do more of this. It’s seriously hard and my one pot didn’t turn out well, but whatever. I don’t have even a little bit of the knack of it, but I want to try again. Lucas’s pot crumpled a little, and while he acted at first as though he didn’t mind, when we got in the car to go home, he fell apart. He hates his pot, he says. "It’s terrible. It’s ridiculous. I’m going to smash it with a sledgehammer! I hate it!" No amount of gentle reminders—that it was his first try, that no one makes a perfect pot on their first try, that mine didn’t turn out quite like I hoped either, that we learned something new and learning things is what life is all about—made any difference to his disappointment. He is so sensitive, so perfectionist sometimes. And I totally understood how he felt because I felt that way many times while I was growing up, too. I hope he’ll rally for our last class next Tuesday. We get to glaze all the pieces we have made.

One thing that has improved lately is that we seem to have finally struck on the thing that motivates Lucas to do chores. We have started paying him allowance. For years we have tried other means to encourage Lucas to do jobs around here—small tasks that he could handle. But nothing ever stuck and the battles that ensued made it feel not even worth it. But the opportunity to earn cold hard cash is finally a motivator. He has been allowed this summer finally to spend some of his money, and he like the taste of that! So far, he has bought for himself two books and two Lego kits. (He’s been saving money in his Thomas the Tank Engine bank for years. By the way, he has totally outgrown the Thomas the Tank Engine bank! "Gosh, Mom! I don’t like Thomas anymore.") Ian and I get veto power over every purchase he makes. So far, that hasn’t been an issue. We now have a chore chart and he has daily and weekly chores. If he gets enough smiley faces on his chore chart, he gets $2 for the week.

I’m pleased to have finally purchased the Your Seven-Year-Old book because frankly I’m mystified about Lucas sometimes. This series of books has never steered me wrong before. I think the subtitles are very telling. This one’s is Life in a Minor Key. Hopefully it will tell me who is this moody, angry creature living inside my son, and how to deal with it. I can tell I have a lot to learn about this age and I’m not handling things as well as I might.

Asher is enjoying day care as usual. His schedule is the same as it was during the school year. There are more children around this summer, and I think he likes that. He talks about his friends at school. He is more verbal all the time. He, too, throws massive tantrums about random things, but these are relatively easy to ignore. We have been down this toddler road before. Most of the time he’s funny and silly and makes us all laugh a lot. I’m very pleased that Asher is now sleeping all night, every night in his own bed. Only once in a while does he wander in to our room at 6 or 6:30 in the morning. Now if we can only get his bedtime to move earlier without sacrificing morning sleep, I will be over the moon. At the end of this month, he’ll be two and a half!

We all had a tough week leading up to the 4th of July. Stomach flu for all four of us, then Ian’s surgery. He was thinking after a couple of days, he’d be fine and up for a trip out of town. But his jaw was really painful for much longer than either of us anticipated. We managed to make it over to the mall to watch the big fireworks in the sky that night. We now know that we don’t have to get close in order to enjoy them, however. Ian is still achey but is back at work this week and doing better.

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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

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    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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