Sunday, May 22, 2016

Establishing Summer Norms (We Don't Lick Each Other!) #SmallWonder Link-up

This is Isaiah,offering me some of his ice cream cone.  
He must have been about 2 years old.  Check out those sweet curls! 

(I'm re-sharing this post from 2014 as we gear up for summer here again.  The twins graduate from preschool this Wednesday and the older kids are out June 1st.  It's such an incredible time of change and transition for work-at-home Moms like me involving fun and memories as well as a dramatically increased workload.  Lord have mercy!)  

There are times, as a parent, when you need to establish norms. 

Simple things like the appropriate surfaces for disposing of boogers, whether one may or may not fart on other people, and whether spontaneously licking another human being is ever appropriate.     

So when, for instance, I see Levi lick his brother’s check, I make a firm and direct proclamation, “We don’t lick each other!” 

Or when someone picks their nose while I’m reading to them at bed time and proceeds to wipe it on the wall, I say, “We don’t wipe our boogers on the wall!” 

As I said, sometimes you need to establish norms.  While other families may do as they please (Licking? Why, yes, please.   Booger’s on the wall?  Of course, that’s fine art to me!) we here are choosing to dance to a different drum. 

//

“Only 19 and ½ more days of school!” my daughter said.

She may as well have been Paul Revere screaming his midnight warning, so great was my alarm. 

Good God, I thought, where have I been? What’s happened?  The hour draweth nigh!

The British, indeed, are coming. 

The British are coming and they are demanding to be entertained, to be vacation-bible-schooled and swim-lessoned, to be play-dated and day-tripped and, good Lord, I am unprepared. 

Nineteen and a half more days and me without a plan.

//

So I decided to establish some norms.

We are doing SLOW this summer.  We are eating ice cream on the porch and watching storms move through.  We are catching fireflies (if we let them stay up late enough) and getting bored enough to use our imaginations.  We are camping in the back yard because it is FREE and state-parking because it also is FREE. 

We are doing KINDNESS, which is a spacious sort of thing that pairs well with SLOW and the NON-LICKING of other people.  It will take practice and there will be sure-misses, but KINDNESS is also free and I plan to help us all be prodigal in its dispensation by the time fall rolls around.

We are practicing GENTLENESS which, good Lord, is a long enough word to be out of fashion these days, but necessary also for when our KINDNESS slips and SLOW starts to feel like stagnation.  We will not hit when we are farted on, though we may hit (it's reflexive) if we are bitten. 

We are doing HOME this summer, because we’ve waited so long to find one and because having a home means making one which isn’t something that can be done without a little presence.  We will be HOME and unhappy and scraping the boogers off the wall.  Then we will still be HOME and laughing as we tell about the ones who ate their boogers and the ones who used them to decorate.  We will be HOME when the first hail storm tears through and when the first peas are ripe for picking.  We will be HOME for skinned knees and sibling frustrations, HOME for sharing and collaboration. 

We will ALL work hard, because I'm not a martyr in the making and we will knock-off before the work is done because, let's face it, it will never really be done. 

We will do vacation bible school and swim lessons and vacation, but they are not our norms, not the hub that holds the spokes of our summer together. 

The British are coming, but don’t worry, it’s ok.  There’ll be almost no licking, I promise. 
*   *   *   *

I'm super excited to be joining with Andi Cumbo-Floyd and Shawn Smucker to organize a weekend writer's retreat this summer at God's Whisper Farm in the beautiful mountains of Virginia.  Visit Andi's website for more info!


Welcome to the #SmallWonder link-up.  


What if we chose to deliberately look for small moments of wonder, the small sparks of presence, of delight or sorrow, of true humanity in which we meet God?  


That's my proposal - that we gather here each week to share one moment of Wonder from each of our days.  You're invited to link-up a brief post about a small moment of wonder.  Don't worry if your post is too long, too short, or not just right - you're welcome to come as you are.  




While you're here, please do take a look around and encourage at least one other blogger with a comment.   

8 comments:

  1. Well, good. Now that we've established the licking thing . . .
    This post makes me smile -- even though you're right. The British ARE coming, and I'm never ready for them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh those curls! Days gone by. I remember when my babies had curls like that and now they're both grown. Enjoy your upcoming summer, Kelly! Time is sweet.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "Getting bored enough to use our imaginations" may I always be so, Lord! Fun post, Kelly! Blessings on your summer preparations!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your summer plans sound beautiful! I've always told my boys that "bored" is a bad word - it means "I'm not smart enough to make it interesting" - LOL. I think teaching our children to live slow is a great gift!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your post brings back memories of when mine were little. I had to chuckle a little... Have a great week! Blessings to you, Kelly!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I had to laugh at the memories you brought back for me when my sons were younger. Summer was always my favorite time of year, but yes, we had to set some rules! I don't remember the "licking" problem, but as to the other "gross art"...yeah, been there!

    Have a wonderful time preparing for the British!!

    GOD BLESS!

    ReplyDelete
  7. omy gosh, this is hysterical! Love the raw truth of what it's like to have kids, boogers and all..and I love your plan, it's sensible and (we'll see how it goes) and beautiful. Love this "The British are coming and they are demanding to be entertained, to be vacation-bible-schooled and swim-lessoned, to be play-dated and day-tripped and, good Lord, I am unprepared. " I so remember those days I just wasn't ready for summer, no plans, when all those moms with their calendars already full with activities really intimidated me and made me feel like there was something very wrong with me..that was until I found going with the flow and all was well. I love thinking of you all this summer enjoying your home together in such simple ways.

    ReplyDelete
  8. omy gosh, this is hysterical! Love the raw truth of what it's like to have kids, boogers and all..and I love your plan, it's sensible and (we'll see how it goes) and beautiful. Love this "The British are coming and they are demanding to be entertained, to be vacation-bible-schooled and swim-lessoned, to be play-dated and day-tripped and, good Lord, I am unprepared. " I so remember those days I just wasn't ready for summer, no plans, when all those moms with their calendars already full with activities really intimidated me and made me feel like there was something very wrong with me..that was until I found going with the flow and all was well. I love thinking of you all this summer enjoying your home together in such simple ways.

    ReplyDelete