Summer has taken on a very different meaning for me since having a child with special needs. Gone are the wide open days, where schedules were a thing of the past and when I could go weeks without knowing what day it really is. Now summers are about scheduling; about fitting in the fun around therapies, IEP meetings, doctor appointments, sporting practices and nap times. Lately it's felt never ending. Don't get me wrong; I'm grateful for the time to even schedule these things... let alone the time to play but being a stay at home mom is exhausting.
It's funny how people are such habitual creatures. Every summer I go through phases of thinking. I'm beginning to see a definite pattern in my "stay at home mom" time, aka summer vacation. I start out thinking how long the summer is and how I'll have plenty of time to check items off the to-do list. So we play. This is obviously my favorite time of summer :) This includes the portion of summer where we go on vacation.
When we return to a mound of laundry the height of Mt. Everest, I realize that the house is in shambles from all that play and it's time to get to work. That, coupled with around this time of summer everyone and their brother begins to ask teachers when they have to go back to work; like we really want to think about that! All it reminds me is that my summer is almost over and I haven't touched the to-do list. Then the schedule begins to pile up. Time to fit in all the doctor appointments, IFSP/IEP meetings for Kate, vet appointments and random other items on the to do list. After a couple weeks of that I feel so drained from running around with my head on backwards that I start having lazy days where I don't want to move off the couch. Then I start to get a view of the house and think, Lord, we have far too much stuff. So purging and painting begins. I clean out closets and rooms and make a giant donation/sale pile, paint a room, redecorate it and marvel in its clean, crisp airy feeling that I know will last a whole week, if I'm lucky! After about 3 weeks of all that work I realize that time is short and I won't get that time back that I used painting a wall that I could have used to take my kids to a museum or the zoo. Basically, I'm not so great at balancing on the tightrope. So, folks, I'm reentering the fun stage. I'm going to make the best of what summer has to offer. See you when school starts... and don't ask me what day that is, I'll have to recheck my schedule :)