My, how time flies in the summer! I don’t even know what we’ve been doing, other than enjoying the weather, swimming, projects, projects, and more projects. Summer in Minnesota is Project Season. Whether is road construction, home remodeling, fixing fences, repairing rotting barn doors, mowing, gardening, or clearing brush, there is always something to do. And we know we have a limited amount of time because before too long, the dreaded white stuff will start to blow again.
I do really like the change of seasons but I could use an extra couple months of summer before it gets cold, not only to get projects done, but also because I hate being cold. This next winter, hopefully I’ll be warm, snuggling our new baby.
In the midst of all these crazy busy summer days and trying to get things done, we need to remember the old saying, “Stop and smell the roses”. I keep seeing these memes on Facebook about how we only get 18 summers with our kids before they venture off into the great wide world and for some it might even be less. This summer my oldest are 16 and between two jobs, a mission trip, and friends, they really aren’t around a whole lot. So, I don’t know if we do really get 18 summers with them. Maybe 16 1/2. Either way, the time is short. Believe me when I say, I didn’t believe it when they were young. I thought we’d never get out of toddlerhood. I’d be stuck there forever, wiping faces and butts, trying to convince them naps are a good thing, and tricking them into eating broccoli. But in the blink of an eye, they are young men, starting to find their own path in life. It’s exciting, don’t get me wrong. I love to see them growing up and trying new things and wondering what they want to do as they grow up. I love the conversations we can have now. Mamas of littles, heed my words. They really do grow up all too fast!
So, whenever you have the chance this summer, stop. Just stop for a moment with your family, with your children. Don’t just stop and smell the roses.
Stop and find the beauty.
I think this requires a little more time and effort. You can quickly grab a rose and smell it, but to find the beauty takes some thought and intentionality. Just a couple weeks ago we brought the kids to see a movie. We had to get to the theater early to turn in our complimentary passes and get seats together so we had about two hours to kill before the actual movie time. What to do…
We found a small ice cream shop along the river, enjoyed a treat, and then meandered along the river. Kids are so good for meandering. They are also so good at finding the beauty. Rocks are beautiful, sticks look like snakes, every bug needs to be examined. And then things need to be thrown into the river to discover the current and swirls of the water. As we wandered along we started to notice all sorts of wildflowers growing along the path. Every one had to be looked over. We stopped no less than a dozen times to smell, pick, examine those flowers. By the end of our walk we had quite the assortment of flowers, pinecones, sticks, leaves, and other assorted ‘nature walk’ items.
It wasn’t the plan, this nature walk, but because we slowed down and just enjoyed what the kids were enjoying, it turned into a beautiful afternoon. And it struck me that we don’t do it often enough. Kids are innately proficient at slowing down and finding the beauty. All too often I’m saying, “Hurry up!”, when I should be taking their lead and slowing down.
Friends, we have half a summer left. Let your kids find the beauty and tag along. Realize what an amazing world we live in and thank our Creator for it. Because, remember, this is one of the few summers you have with your kids.