Where are the days?

How is it possible that even when we are three days away from the longest day of year there still are not enough hours to accomplish everything I want and need to? I did a lot of things today which included making breakfast, dinner, and prepping for tomorrow’s dinner, working a full day, playing house, beauty shop, monster, chase, and wedding planner (yes, my mom and I played wedding planner with my 5 year old) with the kids, running, talking with Tim – who is safely through day 1 of Tanzania – checking in with the nanny about how things have been going with the kids, checking in with my parents about how things have been going with the kids, organizing the clothes in Alice’s room, unpacking my own, packing the clothes for the kids to spend the day with Grammy and Grandpa Baird and taking a shower.

And still, it’s now 9 pm and I’m spent and I still want to write this post, work on the culinary curriculum I’m creating, draft a couple of emails, finished entering some data, eat a bunch of ice cream (to make up for the running earlier), and have another Mad Men marathon. Really, is that asking too much?

In all seriousness, I can’t shake the feeling lately that I’m spinning out of control. I have all these hours and this long list of “to do’s” and “have done’s” and still there’s little  satisfaction. I don’t feel rooted and I think it’s pretty directly related to the fact that I was just uprooted – we all were – and I’m trying to find solid footing again. Don’t get me wrong, we have all really been enjoying our summer spent with grandparents. But there was an adjustment period when we got to my in-laws’ house two weeks ago, and we’re going through another this week, just three days into the next six weeks with my parents.

But I’ve made a couple of decisions I hope will help me feel like I am really seizing the opportunity of a summer in Maine, while keeping some semblance of order and rhythm. For one, as a recent article so beautifully suggested, I am letting go of the fact that my kids aren’t in a traditional daycare/preschool – with it’s tendency toward structure – and instead are letting them have a “free form” summer. I am okay with just letting them play (which is something it seems we all could use a little more of anyway).

I have decided that I will schedule things like trips to Two Lights’ State Park to walk among the tidal pools, and dinners out along the waterfront in the Old Port, and days spent liberally reapplying sunscreen so we can have just a few more sea shell hunts, and late nights spent by the campfire roasting marshmallows and eating smores and too much ice cream and perfecting our tee-ball swing. This summer has to be about more than completing a self imposed to do list. It has to be about experiencing; experiencing summer. I want to go back to Virginia at the end of these next two months hungry to come back to Maine, not excited that I’m going back to my routine.

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