Things I eagerly ponder and plan in May and June, but by the first week of July I have already abandoned:
- Teaching my children how to weed, vacuum, dust, fold, mop, wipe down, scrub the right way. Since during the school year I mostly just do it myself or let them make lazy efforts, thinking, “When we’re home together in July I’ll really buckle down on this.”
- Handwriting practice for Jack. Need I say more?
- Encouraging my children to read copious quantities of “quality literature” carefully selected from multicultural/award-winning/vocabulary-rich/justice-loving book lists gleaned from a myriad of sources online and from books about books that I have actually purchased that sit hardly cracked on my bedside table. Instead: are they really still checking out Geronimo Stilton at the library? Yes.
- Listening to Ellie diligently master “Can You Hear the People Sing” from the also newly purchased “Les Misérables” piano book so we can awe her piano teacher in September. Instead, my family is listening to me diligently pluck out “Stars” until John says something like, “I think I can recognize that song now!”
- Touching each and every item in my house to determine if it “sparks joy” a la Marie Kondo, simplifying and purging until my heart and soul are light and free, and so that when the Foster Care Licensor comes to inspect our home, things won’t fall on top of her when she opens cupboards and doors.
- Re-reading “Les Misérables” by Victor Hugo. Oh, the Foster Care archetypes I now recognize amongst its characters!
Adjusted Summer Goals:
- Sacrificially acquiesce to my mother-in-law’s suggestion of having Ellie to come over to her house once a week where she would teach Ellie how to clean her house and pay her for her efforts. Daughter getting paid to learn valuable life skills by a better teacher than myself = Win.
- Let 3rd grade teacher deal with Jack’s handwriting. Focus on teaching my nearly EIGHT-YEAR-OLD how to freaking tie his own shoes.
- Listen to quality literature via OverDrive and OneClickdigital library apps any time we’re in the car, which will be in copious quantities during our upcoming 3-week road trip. Already finished and highly recommend: “The Key to Extraordinary” by Natalie Lloyd, and “From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” by E. L. Konigsburg.
- Remind them to practice an old piano song once a day (or at least 3 times a week), if I remember, and if we aren’t having too much fun with other stuff.
- Handle, watching for joyful sparks, every item in my kitchen, closet, and MAYBE my bedroom. Procrastinate as long as possible, since Foster Care home inspection is likely still
- Watch “Les Misérables” with Hugh Jackman, taking no foster parenting tips from the Thenardiers. We will love like Valjean, forgive like the bishop, follow the WAC like Javert, and fight for the rights of our children like Marius!
√ Go camping
√ Go to the beach
√ Play at the river at every opportunity
√ Eat dinner outside while listening to multicultural mixes on Spotify unless over 90 degrees or raining
√ Finish the library summer reading program
√ Bonfire with friends and cousins
√ Say “no” to all Sunday School volunteer opportunities
√ Educational Opportunity at Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Ilwaco, in which we discover that Lewis and Clark spent about a week at the mouth of the Washougal River (Cottonwood Beach), exploring up and down, hunting and catching fish. Upon our return home, we looked up their detailed journals from March 31, 1806 and found that yes, indeed, they did paddle up past our very spot of beach on the Washougal (named “Seal River” by the intrepid explorers)! Perhaps they stopped for lunch at our very idyllic pebbly shore! If the waters were low enough, maybe they stood upon our very stately jumping rock and did a little fishing!
Yep, we’re pretty much killing it at summer.