There’s something about summertime that brings out an extra dose of wild sibling shenanigans around our house. It’s the combination of all the extra quality time together, the lack of a structured schedule, and a diet that consists of “whatever we can find around here”. It’s midday nerf wars and late night movies. I remember the days like the ones in this picture when they were smaller and they thought it would be fun to try to learn to braid mom’s hair. I tried to sit back and enjoy it, even though I think I lost half my head of hair. These days, it’s trying to teach mom to shoot her nerf gun correctly and how, at a minimum, to stand up and run away while trying to learn to play Fortnite.
Summertime around our house has been completely different this year.
I used to keep their summer schedules completely full. They’d be at a sports camp every day, so I could work and so they could leverage summertime to learn to play additional fun sports. But this year, they were tired. It was a tough year of school on top of a monumentally huge summer of building and moving last year.
They were begging for rest.
So outside of a few select camps and a couple of family trips, that’s what they’re getting. . . rest. In some ways, it’s driving me up and down all the walls. They’re constantly bickering and trying to 0ne-up each other with everything from ping-pong scores, to who can unload the dishwasher the fastest. It appears imperative that they poke each other every time they’re close enough to touch, resulting in some version of “ring around the island” war. Most days I worry that they’re going to grow up absolutely hating each other. But I’m so grateful for the mamas who’ve gone before us, who are generous enough to leave bread crumbs on the path. Like this little excerpt from a post to the mamas by Jen Hatmaker yesterday:
“Here is all you need to obsess over: their hearts, souls, love for the world and it’s people, their shiny spirits, their sweet faith untainted by shame and fear, the stuff they love, and the rock-solid knowledge that they are loved by you times a zillion.”
This was in the middle of a post acknowledging all the things we worry about as parents when, in the end, “just a teeny bit of it all really matters and lasts”. It was like a balm to my soul to read her quick post. Like God just dropped it right into my lap at exactly the right time, because you know what? They wanted to stay up way too late last night and I try to go up with them every night to talk about their day and pray with them. In fact, it’s one of my very favorite parts of my day, because they’re still and always in the mood to talk. But last night, I knew I couldn’t. So I looked up at my “babies” (while standing next to them) and said, “Mama is too tired to go up with you to say goodnight. Let’s just huddle right here and you guys head up.” So we circled up, with our arms around each other, and prayed.
We hugged, said our “I loved yous”, and they headed upstairs.
I walked in the living room to turn off the lamp, just knowing some sort of late-night shenanigans would ensue. So I walked over near the stairs to listen. Instead of a wild rumpus, do you know what I heard? I heard very grown-up sounding voices saying, “I love you, goodnight.” “I love you, too.” And the doors closed, and the lights went out.
And my mama heart was completely full.
For all the bickering and fussing and wild summer days, that moment confirmed what my friend Jen told me earlier in the day, that just a tiny bit of all of it really matters. I needed to pass that along to you today, especially if you’re a mama juggling all the extra things this summer.
Whatever struggles are filling your summer days, it’s only love that will matter in the end.
Weave in the tiny moments of love, it’s the only “thing” that lasts.
Try to release all the rest, as often as you can. (I’m trying right alongside you!)
to more love,