Summer-like temperatures have my kids raiding the attic for last year’s too-small, too-short summer dresses and tank tops. They wilt in the heat they’ve been wanting-for all winter. They come in the kitchen melting with “hotness”. I remind them that maybe they’re sweaty and red-faced because they’ve been racing bikes up and down the dusty lane.
For the past two days I’ve been turning down their pleas to go down to the stream. I’ve got to-do lists a mile long, boxes to unpack, laundry to put away, monogrammed towels to sort, there’s no time for wading in streams.
But this morning, I read this and was immediately struck by the barrage of no’s I’d been handing out the past several days, weeks even.
As exhausted a cliche as it is, it’s a pretty safe bet that they’d remember the day we dropped everything and went to the stream, not the day I finally got everyone’s socks paired and put away in their drawers. What’s one more day with mismatched socks?
So I said yes.
Still, you’d think in my 11 years of parenting experience I’d know better, but as bodies and slobbering dog were piling out of the car, I heard myself say, “We’re not getting wet, just wade up to your shorts!”
And less than five minutes later I heard myself say, “Okay, you can go ahead and get all the way in.”
When I called up the stream that it was time to go, I heard some lovely child say, “C’mon. We need to listen or we won’t be able to do this again.” And in that moment I was reminded that saying yes doesn’t always mean relenting, giving in, or a weakness in my mothering fortitude.
Mostly it’s about wading through all there is to do in each day and finding a happy balance in that middle ground.
And P.S. I still got the socks sorted. Bonus.