“Nothing much to see here folks, move along…..” My schedule gets crazy in the summer. We are, in my family, night owls by nature. I’m pretty sure we have a vampire or other nocturnal professional lurking in the roots of our family tree. My mother in law goes to bed fairly early so I’m thinking it is on my side. That fact and the memory of staying up late alot as a child both point to my side. During the school year, we do our best to get to bed at a reasonable hour but once our school schedules let up….we are in all-nighter mode. As I write this, my clock says 1:50am. I’m not exhausted per say and I have no pressing needs that are keeping me up, I just haven’t found my way to bed yet. I’d blame it on the hot summer days and cooler nights for being awake this late/early, but we were like this even when we lived in a cooler location.
Its funny in a way, I don’t mind the staying up late, but I really hate the sleeping in. I wish my kids would get up at the crotch of dawn and happily get their chores done and we would all start off on amazing adventures every day of the summer. Instead, we are all in a drunken stupor of sleep until the early afternoon at times. Granted, there is something a bit peaceful about being the first one up and having time to sit and read or write or do arithmatic before the teeming masses slither from their snuggly beds, but when I’m up super late like this I tend to be the last one up if I don’t have a pressing appointment. What this all amounts to is a week of getting approximately nothing done. We do clean the kitchen, because that would be gross, but the laundry and other worthwhile activities tend to just not happen.
I am at a loss at times as to what adventures and activities I need to involve the kids in during the sweltering summer months. Movies are cool but….that is just sitting. Anything I can think of requires money and me driving somewhere. I miss the days when the kids would be happy just playing with legos or building forts in the living room. How does one entertain a teenager?
A friend of mine in Florida had a cool idea in her house. They had a staircase off the kitchen that led down to their family room in the basement. Along one side of the stairs was a huge wall that went all the way up both stories. When ever they had someone over to their house, they would let them choose a sharpie marker and write something they were grateful on the ‘gratitude wall.’ I thought it was an amazing idea and loved reading all the things people wrote. The only rule was that you had to write something that had not already been written by someone else. People got creative. There was even a nicely drawn picture of a toilet that I thought was brilliant. It really made you think deep when you saw all the stuff others had written. I bring this up because I am wondering about activities for the kids that would help them feel gratitude. I think I will take them to the Ronald McDonald house to volunteer with me in a few weeks. It would be good for them to be of service to others. Nothing makes us feel more grateful than serving others.
I am also considering doing a gratitude wall. I’m not brave enough to give strangers full run of a wall in my house, but I think I may do small pieces of a wall with frames around them. Maybe it won’t look too ridiculous….then again, maybe it will. But this isn’t really about how something looks, it’s about how it makes us feel. I’d rather have a funky wall an kids that knew and understood gratitude than a clean, nice wall. That being said, I think there is a nice clean wall in the garage that would work…..cause I said so.
photo credit: http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=ZYO&sa=X&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&biw=1920&bih=916&tbm=isch&prmd=imvns&tbnid=TgiKIIUCWfMZ2M:&imgrefurl=http://www.directindustry.com/prod/etche-securite/firemen-s-fire-resistant-boot-8649-42789.html&docid=zOmGpG8J8CfUYM&imgurl=http://img.directindustry.com/images_di/photo-g/firemen-s-fire-resistant-boots-42789.jpg&w=434&h=480&ei=cn_IT4bkG4Ki2QWBrqWvDQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=715&vpy=548&dur=58&hovh=236&hovw=213&tx=123&ty=166&sig=113984122180083014531&page=1&tbnh=130&tbnw=118&start=0&ndsp=50&ved=1t:429,r:34,s:0,i:147