Summer Wicked This Way Comes

It’s a long weekend, and it isn’t over yet. Here are a few things which happened:

A) Jack and I rode a train together. It was a peaceful drive through a lovely canyon to get to the Day Out With Thomas event. It was the last train trip of the evening, and things were perfectly low-key. We were by far the oldest mom and son duo there.

Jack was a peach. Trains thrill him.

B) We went to a rodeo, where Henry explained all the comings and goings of a PRCA rodeo to his younger cousins, and where Jack danced gleefully in his seat. The wind blew like nobody’s business.

A saddle bronc rider fell from his bucking horse and lay completely still for fifteen minutes in the dirt while paramedics strapped him to a board and drove him away. This is the trouble with rodeos: death and catastrophic injury lurk too closely. The announcer said the injured cowboy was moving his arms and talking, so I’m praying he simply got his bell rung and has now recovered.

Jack fell apart in a big loud way long before the barrel-racing and bull-riding commenced. We made a grand, noisy, early exit.

C) During church, we noticed that Jack’s left ear had something in it. In hushed whispers during sacrament meeting we brainstormed what it could be. It looked like crumpled wads of paper. Then it resembled pea gravel. Next time we looked, it was gone. I worry he pushed whatever it was farther into his ear. Jeff thinks it fell out.

That blasted left ear: it’s the gift that keeps on giving (giving crappy wads of fungus and infected pus, that is).

D) People have been asking me about my summer strategy. Will I focus on creating a super-structured daily framework for the boys? Will I employ yet more helpers? Will I have a core meltdown? (Please note, I am not referring to my core muscles; they melted down for good three pregnancies ago).

Want to know my summer strategy? This is it: survival and simplicity. Alliterative summer mottoes are good for the forgetful mommy brain.

Just keep it simple, and stay alive, baby. That is my M.O.

E) I had a chat with my friend Becky, who dreads summer “break” as only a mom of a kid with special needs can. She said that she used to be Super Fun Summer Mom Extraordinaire, but that the new limitations in her family have blown that out of the water. I said that I have a hard time comparing our über-restricted summer days with the fun summer schedules so many other families seem to experience. Most of the parents in the special needs Facebook group I follow feel guilt about focusing so much of their energy on their child with disabilities, while their other children get less of their attention.

It’s a season so many people love for the weather and the freedom and the relaxation. For me, summer equates to exhaustion.

Tired doesn’t necessarily have to mean bad. We will survive. We will pare down, relax, and just chill, (pronounces the mom, with some trepidation).

Simplicity, boys. Breathe it in and get used to it.

If nothing else, I’m going to teach the guys the meaning of the term siesta.

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