For the kids’ part they had a fun filled summer – Florida, swimming, boating, amusement parks, camping, riding bikes, lazy days at home playing, and summer camps. For this Mama’s part it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was fun to experience a different kind of summer. One thing I discovered is that I underestimate Jackson and his ability to have fun. I decided this summer that I was going to take Jackson on as many adventures as I could with the kids. I want him to have all the experiences that other children have. There is a part of me that always thinks “Oh he won’t like doing that.” In typical form that kid proved me wrong quite a few times this summer. I think the most amazing thing he did this summer was sit through an Imax movie. As part of the package to ride the amusement park rides downtown in Riverfront Park you get to go to an Imax movie. I didn’t want Daniel and Sylvia to not get to go because of Jackson so I stocked my purse with Hot Tamales (Jackson’s favorite candy) and came up with a backup plan if Jackson didn’t make it through the movie (which was about sharks!). I was nervous and anxious. Once the movie started Jackson looked up at the screen and had this “What the…?” look on his face. He was moving his head around looking at different parts of the giant screen trying to figure out what was happening. 5 minutes went by. I couldn’t take my eyes of Jackson. He was really engaged. Then 10 minutes went by. 15. 20. And then he started making noise. I whipped out the Hot Tamales and he was happy and engaged again. The movie was only about 35 minutes long but when it ended I had to use all my energy not to cry. Jackson made it through an Imax! It was unbelievable. Going to an Imax movie with Jackson wasn’t something I thought we would ever do. But we did and it was awesome!Having kids home for the summer is a lot of work. Those of you who do it know what I am talking about. Between the appointments, errands and simple every day stuff there isn’t a lot of time for moms to relax and take a few moments to herself. There were days when I was so tired I didn’t have the energy to brush my teeth. My motivation to keep going was a 4 day trip to Whidbey Island with my best friend Tami. Boy did I need that vacation! Just taking care of myself, eating good seafood, sleeping without a baby monitor next to my head, and the calming sounds of the ocean. The trip was great but the best part was upon my return hearing my husband (who spent 4 days with the kids by himself) say “You work your ass off. I never had any time to myself.” I know he appreciates what I do every day and understands it is hard work, but hearing those words and having him acknowledge it, well it made my whole summer!
As we head into the school year remember that “There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti