A Hope list for the Summer of 2010:
1. I hope we all relax. Although that is obviously not proving to be very complex for three out of four boys, as since last Friday (the last day of school), they have slept until noon or until they were rudely awakened by me. I do get a peculiar joy out of waking up sleeping teenagers. Does that make me unkind?
2. I hope the boys have what I think of as a "real summer". I know kids who participate in sport camps nearly all summer, and kids who go to "sleep-away" camp, and kids whose summers are chock-full of lessons, "summer bridge" learning programs, and various trips. The eldest boy does have weight training for football June and July, and "two-a-days" beginning in August, but otherwise, my kids tend to fall into the camp of "unscheduling". Sleep until you wake up (well, not every day), stay up later, go to the pool, hang out with friends, read, play games and yep - get bored. Last time I checked, boredom won't kill you. Although my boys apparently aren't aware of that fact just yet, judging by the fact "I'm bored" has already been said once -- and it wasn't even true at the time. It was just a reflex. : )
3. I hope we have a truly great getaway later this summer when we travel to the west coast for a "real" family vacation. We usually wrap our time away around visits to family or around work for my husband. This trip - although it does include a spot of "work" for Rob - is a true vacation, and we are looking forward to it mightily.
4. I hope to instill something faintly resembling a work ethic in the boys. After giving them a week or two of a break, I plan on putting daily responsibilities into place, so that everyone has at least some purpose in every day. I also want to encourage additional physical activity - biking, running, going on walks. And also some reading - fun reading, books of their own choosing. Just so we all keep some remembrance of our own capabilities, and perhaps return to school in the fall somewhat stronger and brighter.
5. I hope that these 90+ degree days in June are not a portent of things to come. Summer heat is fine, but 85 degrees at 10 in the morning? C'mon, that's August weather, not June!
6. I hope we score ourselves a contractor who can repair our collapsing retaining wall, which may eliminate the minor water-in-the-basement problem. And I hope we score ourselvs another fine person to clean our not so old roof shingles that have this rather repulsive mossiness all over them. Definitely reduces the "curb appeal" of our sweet yellow house.
7. I hope we are able to get our second car, a 2003 Ford Expedition with a habit of spitting out its own sparkplugs, up and running again, just in time for the 15 y/o to acquire his learner's permit later this summer. And yes, I do find the prospect of any of my children driving a bit terrifying, but this one - he's probably going to do just fine. And he already has a better internal mapping ability than I do, which he is more than happy to point out on a regular basis. At least he is unlikely to get lost. : )
8. I hope my little family of testosterone-laden critters remain as close and as reliant upon one another as we are now. My eldest reports that he has been ribbed a bit by friends who say he spends "too much time" with his family. To that I said "That is EXACTLY what I wanted for us - outcome achieved." He didn't find that half as funny as I did. But my point was made, and he actually (privately) admits he (usually) likes the fact we all hang around together and go to D.C. to "our" Washington Monument and "our" National Mall, and that we discover new places and experiences not far from our own backyard.
We are a tightly bound family, and we know that the next 10 years will separate us geographically and personally, with college and life decisions putting perhaps hundreds of miles between us. And that is partly why we invest time in just being together - whether we are all crowded together in our smallish den watching a pre-recorded episode of "Friday Night Lights" or we're driving to D.C. on what has become our annual pilgrimage to the National Christmas Tree (even though two years ago, the tree had actually been turned OFF the day before - Rob will never ever live that one down) -- or we're all at the high school varsity football game, sitting in what has become our "usual" spot, talking to friends and letting the older boys sit with their friends, but touching base with us at halftime.
We are a family. And I have yet to find the words to describe how much contentment I get from having my husband, boys, dogs, cat, turtles, and the life we have together. I have no idea how I got this lucky - but rest assured of this:
I never take it for granted.
Happy Summer to all who read this...