Friday, May 30, 2008

The First Day

Yesterday, my older boys finished up their school year and for us, summer began. It has not at all felt like the end of the year since Spring has never quite shown up in Chicago. We have had more cold days than ever before and have had frost warnings several times in the last week. But, it was time for the end and the end came.

The end of the year is always a sad time for us. My kids attend an amazing school where they are happy and challenged and loved. Saying goodbye to their friends is one thing... saying good-bye to teachers is clearly another. Come September, friends will gather again but the days my boys will spend with their teachers have completely come to a close. It is a loss that they feel each and every year.

That said, they were ready for a slower pace. The need more sleep, less structure and time to revel in the amazing creation God has draped generously around us. And so we begin our summer... on a day that will threaten thunderstorms all day long!

With rain threatening, I sent all my kids out the door first thing this morning. If we will spend our afternoon bouncing off the indoor walls, we need to make the most of the pre-precipitation hours. Out they went, somewhat unsure of what to do, to begin their summer vacation. Within just a few minutes, a wonderful rhythm of sibling play began in our backyard. Josiah mixing water and sand and dirt to make "breakfast" for his koala Webkins. Elizabeth hitting balls off the tee and swinging on swings and watching her big brothers play. Noah pitching to Benjamin who is trying to find his game. And momma watching it all with a heart over-flowing. No bickering. No fighting. Peace in the yard and a few minutes to catch our breath. A very good thing.

As summer begins and we face an endless string of structure-less days, may we all have moments when we can see clearly what is most important before us. These three months will have more to do with moments in the yard than expensive vacations away. An hour of pitching, a mudpie and bat will form for our families the memories that stick longest in their minds. And in ours.

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