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SkyMoms > Parenting Tips

Dear Moms: You Are Not A Cruise Director

I’d been waiting for this day for a long time. The day after, Little Bit, our youngest son, completed kindergarten.

I wasn’t waiting in the “I’m over this school year” kind of sense, though that was also true. I was waiting because I longed for alone time with my baby.

Until this year, Little Bit spent two days each week at home with me. Sometimes, we did exciting things together, but most often, we spent our days living in the mundane. Taking walks in our neighborhood, playing outside, cooking, or running errands.

On many occasions when it was errand-running day, we’d find ourselves at our local mall. Our visits would involve trips to a few stores, and they would always end with lunch in the food court at Chick-Fil-A.

These days were nothing special and everything special, all at the same time.

For a year, it’s been my desire to pull Little Bit out of school so we could revisit the past. He’s my baby after all, and this year has involved gigantic waves of change for me.

But in this crazy season of life, that desire never became a reality. Inevitably, I filled my calendar with other obligations, or unexpected things would come up to prevent us from having these special days.

Thus, the wait.

A couple weeks ago, as we were preparing for school to end, I asked Little Bit what he wanted to do on his special day home. I expected him to request a trip to the arboretum, a movie, or a play date. But that’s not what he requested. Instead, he asked if we could do all the things we used to do when he was home with me before starting kindergarten.

He said he wanted to snuggle. He wanted me to work outside in my chairwhile he rode his bike. He wanted to go to the mall and have lunch in the food court at Chick-Fil-A so he could visit one of the workers he refers to as his “friend.” He wanted to ride the escalator up and the elevator down, throw a penny in the fountain, and buy something. Then he wanted to go to the coffee shop and drink chocolate milk in the loft before we picked up his siblings.

Simple enough. So that’s exactly what we did.

The day was nothing special and everything special, all at the same time.

It made me think of summer. And it made me think of you.

I know that moms come to the end of the school year with different emotions. For Stay-At-Home-Moms, summer can feel daunting because it steals their quiet and invades their most productive time.

For moms who work full-time in an office, summer can feel daunting because they wonder how they will fill their kids’ time.

For moms who work part-time or from home – it’s a combination of these extremes. Trust me, I know.

We all have unique circumstances that can make summers challenging.

But I think we put too much pressure on ourselves.

I think we believe a lie that the only way our kids can have a meaningful summer is if we fill their days with mountaintop experiences.

Based on my experience with Little Bit yesterday, this lie couldn’t be farther from the truth.

So moms, lean in. Listen up. I want to speak words of encouragement into your hearts today. Your summer job is not that of a cruise director. Sure, there will be times when you’re organizing the details of a vacation or outing and carting your children from here to there.

But it’s not your job to insure there are 24/7 activities happening on the Lido Deck.

Your job is to love your kids. To introduce them to Jesus. To teach them right from wrong. To cultivate an environment that’s safe and nurturing. To model grace and forgiveness.

Your job is a lot of things – and yes – it includes setting aside time to focus on creating memorable experiences. But let’s not confuse quantity with quality. Rich blessing exists in the normal day.

I’ll leave you with this. Last summer, I was strolling through some shops on vacation, when I came across a sign:

Normal Day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it will not always be so. One day I shall dig my fingers into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky, and want more than all the world your return. – Mary Jean Irion

May this summer include some mountaintop experiences. But may it also be filled with many opportunities for our children to treasure the normal day.