The alarm goes off, I hit the snooze button (maybe twice). I feel the fan blow across my face, blow across the room, and then blow across my face again. I hear the humming of the window air conditioners. (Yes, plural. We have three!) I snuggle under my comforter and close my eyes again. BAM. The door bursts open. It is my not-yet-two-year-old Nora, who has recently learned the art of climbing out of her crib and running full force at mommy and daddy’s bedroom door.
My day has begun. Nora runs to wake her brothers, and they stumble into my room saying, “Mommy, can we wear tank tops? And flip flops? Can we go outside?” It is not even 8 a.m. “Yes, you can wear flip flops. Yes, we will play outside. Just let me get dressed.”
Ahh, the dreaded task of finding something to wear in the summer. I rummage through my drawer of shorts. Are these too short? Will it look like I’m trying to re-live my college days? But is this pair too long? Do they look like “mom shorts”? Oh forget it, it’s too hot to care.
And so we scarf down our Frosted Flakes and we head outside.
Swingset. Bikes. Trampoline.
Sure, let’s get out the water table (more toys to pick up). Let’s put on more sunscreen (more mess to clean up). Yes, you can change into swimming trunks (more laundry). Well, I guess we can eat lunch outside…
And then we get a nap. My precious naptime. Time to work, or not work, whatever I feel like doing that day.
Daddy’s home! Let’s walk to the park! Let’s take a picnic! Let’s change into our superhero shirts! Can we make s’mores when we get back? And can we take every single pillow and blanket from the entire house and put them on the sun porch and watch a movie before we go to bed?
Sure. Let’s do it. Why not, right? It’s summer! I’m hot and sweaty and I haven’t gotten one single bit of work done because I don’t want to drag my ginormous laptop out into the boiling sun and attempt to see the screen with the glare and hold your sister with one hand while I type up some super important emails. Bring on the s’mores!
If any of this sounds like your day, or if you have other complaints to air out here on the internet, now is the time. But after you air them out, come back here and read the rest of this post. Because the grass is green my friends.
The grass is GREEN.
It’s not greener, and there is no other side. The grass, right here, in your own backyard, is green. It is beautiful, and your kids can run in it with their bare feet, and you can lay on it and watch the stars while you clean marshmallows out of their hair.
I am just as guilty (if not more) than the next mom when it comes to holding my breath until naptime, or until bedtime, or until the days are just a bit cooler. But let me remind you of two very nasty words that we learned all too well this past year:
You remember it, right? If you were anywhere north of Texas this past year, those two words should send shivers (no pun intended) down your spine. As a born and bred Iowa girl, I myself was one step away from packing up my bags and driving to anywhere where you couldn’t see your breath. Did you know that this winter it was so cold that you could throw a bucket of water into the air and it turned to snow before it hit the ground? Yeah, it’s true. We did it in our backyard, me and the kids. It was both amusing and sickening at the same time.
My point is this: if these summer days are long, and if you are sitting at the pool dreaming about your air-conditioned living room, just remember those two words we learned last winter. (I won’t say them again)
We longed for this spring, this summer, didn’t we? We dreamed about it, we talked about it, we longed for it so hard we could practically taste it. And now, mamas, it is here.
These glorious, sun-filled days are here, and we need to enjoy every minute that we can.
If you are a working mom, I hope that you can burst out into the sunshine as soon as your workday is over, and I hope you can stay out there until bedtime. If you are at home all day, either raising children or working (or both), I pray that you can say “yes” to all of your children’s demands to get out of the house. I know it isn’t always easy, and I know it’s sometimes more work than it is fun, but just get out there. Get out there, take your shoes off, and put your toes in that grass. That green, green grass. You have made it to the other side, and it is good.
Oh, and if you are looking for me today, you will find me and my littles at the sprinkler park, where the water shoots up in the air and comes down to the ground as water.