A letter to my children-

Summer is coming!
Jakob, soon I will not have to coax you out of bed, and agree that it definitely would be great if school started a few hours later. You will be able to bound up the stairs when you wake up on your own. Of course, you will still have a bedtime, but I will not have to insist that you put the book down, turn off the light and go to bed because you have school in the morning!

Shelby, you will be able to wear shorts, flirty (within the limits of a 7 year old) skirts, sparkling sandals and the tank tops that you have been asking to wear all spring long. Although, the bright and sassy bikini you want is still in negotiation; the colorful and “this-mom-is-more comfortable- with” tankini is probably still in your future.

Ellie, the dandelions are in full bloom and they will be ready for you to pick with the wild abandon and enjoyment you demonstrate, as your dad and I are not the best at lawn care. There will be many days that you will be able to stay in your pajamas all day, but I am confident that the sunshine and the play set will call you to get dressed and scurry outside. Your backpack awaits you — it is not yet filled with the rocks that I continually ask you to stop putting in there.

Adventures are in store for us, I am sure, but there will be days where I want you to be bored. I do not want the whining that comes with being bored, but I want you to be bored. I want you to have no agenda for a time, go outside and explore, make your own fun without the television, Wii or computer. You need to have a lemonade stand – we will work on doing it in town, as these country roads we live on aren’t too conducive to lemonade stands – but a hot, summer day requires a lemonade stand from time to time with a homemade sign, paper cups and a sweaty pitcher filled with the sweet and tart drink. The thrill of having a bag full of earned quarters is a feeling I wish for you. Being bored will not hurt you, it can inspire you to build blanket forts, to create sidewalk chalk masterpieces, and find the perfect tree to climb and find a bird’s nest.

I wish for sunshiny days where your noses get a little brown, and your freckles that disappear in the winter pop out in the summer. I wish for park days, pool days, lake days, and maybe beach days if we head down south. I wish for fireflies to twinkle at dusk for you to chase and capture. S’mores and popsicles and just-picked sweet corn. And, I wish for very few mosquito bites to scratch, and for the fish to bite soon after getting the squishy worms on the hooks.

When the too much togetherness gets to you, which it will, I expect you all to take a deep breath and not drive each other crazy… or drive me so crazy that I want to pull my hair out. Being together day in and day out with no school to break up the sibling love will be tough at times, but I respectfully demand the tattletaling, the “she is sitting in my chair when I got out just for a minute” shrieking, the “he started it” decrees, and the endless “why does he/she get to do that, and I don’t” questions be kept to a minimum. I know you love each other, even when some days you can barely tolerate each other… as I always say, you are lucky to have each other and one day you will realize it, honest. When in public, can you please act like you like each other?

It will be nice to have a break from the frantic mornings trying to catch the bus that is coming 5 minutes earlier than at the beginning of the year. Your backpacks are grungy and the zippers are sticking. The days are longer, and it gets more difficult to coax you to bed when the sun is still gracing us. Make sure you are still giving your teachers your attention these last few weeks..they are probably getting excited for summer as well, but they are still patient with you.

And, yeah, I love you each of you. More than anything. But, when school comes around again, I will be ready, and you will be ready, too. We will be yearning for the structure, the routines, and for the yellow bus to come and pick you up. I will send you off with kisses and then watch you climb onto the bus and pull out of sight. With a sigh, I will be happy for school, but realize that time marches on and I will be waiting for summer soon enough.

All my love-