Sometimes it’s hard for me to see the magic and sparkle in our little life. I notice that my sparkle meter is highly sensitive to other families. Their lives seem rather luminous in Facebook photos or the blogs I follow making our summer seem a little lame. That is until last week. We are home from family camp and it was indeed magical. And not just because the weather was perfect or the kids willing went along with the Jack Pines (all kids ages 4-6) and all the adults got 3 blissful hours each morning. And not only because I didn’t make or clean up one single meal for 6 days or because it’s just an awesome place oozing with fun… but because I also got a chance to see us through another set of eyes. Without the stuff of our everyday life clouding my vision, I could see the beauty in our ordinariness, in these kids, in being a mom, in being a family.
I needed that because this summer has been challenging for me. I couldn’t seem to get in the swing of our newfound freedom when school ended. Instead, I felt stuck for the entire month of June. I was very blue. I was lost and had trouble finding the worth in my being home with them – I joked that I could just pay someone a few bucks an hour to schlep snacks and make sure they didn’t play in the street so I could do something useful. One part of me longed for the romance of summer – picnics, the beach, effortless frolic-y fun, but another big part of me wasn’t up to the challenge. When I’m staring down the barrel of a 14 hour day, a picnic made me want to go back to bed.
So, family camp was the perfect way to bring the summer to a near close. This has been a much needed quiet week following the week that wore everyone completely out in the very best kind of way. I know the kids had a great time at camp but they would say they’ve had a great summer too and if I put my sparkle detector glasses on I can see that what seemed like a waste of a perfect summer day in June – a entire morning spent in our jammies or the Barbies swimming in the wading pool in our backyard, wasn’t exactly wasteful, but a more… thrifty way to spend a day when you are 4 or 6.