Off to a Rough Start

At 10:30 yesterday morning, school ended for the year.  I had to call a friend to coach me through some slow, deep breathing.  I think we’ll be fine, but I also know it won’t be easy. Within minutes of arriving home, tempers flared, arguing began, and my heart sank.  Just for the record – I am not ready – not at all!

How do I fill a child’s day with constant activity when I have other children with me all day long?  I know the answer; I need a calendar, and charts, and friends, and programs — and when on earth is the pool going to open?  It is going to be a challenge, but I need to make this the healthiest summer I possibly can for everyone.

There is one big bright spot as summer vacation launches.  Dimples has discovered the joy of reading!  She has been able to read, but has never willingly chosen it as an activity.  Yesterday she came to me holding four books in her hand and with an impish twinkle in her eye, she said, “Should I be naughty, or should I read?”

This will be a very, very, very good thing if it lasts.

What do you have planned for summer break?

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. Jennifer
    May 24, 2012

    Oh goodness – us too! Better than in years past, but stil HARD!

    Reply
  2. Nancy
    May 24, 2012

    Oh, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all the kiddos eagerly stay on the reading train! Our summer started this morning,and we're planning on escaping city life for the woods. Then lots of walks, golf lessons, time at Grandma's house, sewing, and playing with cousins to name a few.

    Reply
  3. Katie Patel
    May 24, 2012

    I totally know how you feel. I am trying to work on a schedule, but when u are naturally a more relaxed person, you kinda resent (if i'm being honest) having to have a plan for every second of every day. And then there's the rub of when you don't follow the schedule, being called out about it from your six year old! I have been avoiding the pool because I have four think-they-can-swim-but-not-really kids, and our pool doesn't have a lifeguard. So we're just doing outside time, quiet time, library time, and maybe a few playdates. Plus a little school review. but its tough.

    Reply
  4. Jennie
    May 24, 2012

    Press on, Lisa. Praying for you this morning. I don't have any kiddos from hard places (yet) but total schedule transitions are hard for my kiddos (and me!) too. Our first few days of summer break were a bit ugly, but things have settled more now. Asking God for some of that settling at your house and for His peace to reign!

    Reply
  5. Marissa
    May 24, 2012

    I'm having a lot of anxiety over the end of the school year this Friday. I can envision the pacing through the house that will eventually lead to a meltdown. (Deep breath.)

    My son and I talked about this this morning. I'm thankful that he realizes that he NEEDS an activity and direction to keep him from spiraling out of control. We are doing some work on our house before the move and he's excited to get started on that. He wants to paint the deck and strip wallpaper. Who am I to argue with that? I'm cautiously optimistic about this summer.

    Reply
  6. Dana
    May 24, 2012

    We're still finishing school until the end of the month. After that I don't have a plan. We live in Florida about an hour from the beach so one of my goals is a beach day every week. Last year, we were so busy that one of my kids didn't make it to the beach all summer — did I mention it's only an hour away? We also are going to take Taekwondo at our church as a family and the kids will do VBS. Our oldest will do his first sleepover camp – he's nervous and so am I. Summer passes so fast and I always wonder if we used it to the fullest. For me, I'd be happy just to take a nap every day.

    Reply
  7. tracey
    May 24, 2012

    Zoo, the neighborhood pool, and lots of paint!

    Reply
  8. mamitaj
    May 24, 2012

    Oh Lisa, sorry for the rough entry. It's enough to make a mom run screaming from the room…but that wouldn't help anyone. 😉 Ours started this morning. So far, so good. We are planning 2 day camps, VBS, Summer School , 1 road trip for my class reunion, 1 big driving vacation, lots of swimming, and some playdates with a girl from school. So, that should get us through this week. (just kidding) This is actually the first summer since Cupcake went to school that I did not have major anxiety/panic in anticipation of summer. I'm hoping I haven't underestimated the stress, but Cupcake seems to be in a pretty mature state of mind these days. She's handled some pretty tough stuff with grace and finesse lately. I'm praying for your crew this summer.

    Reply
  9. Acceptance with Joy
    May 24, 2012

    Oh, I hear you! I was practically dancing and skipping when the school especially invited the twins (even the homeschooled one) for a few weeks of special ed reading this summer. 3 hours a day for 8 days in June, and 8 days in August. Now to fill up the rest of the weeks with some structure… The school year isn't over here, yet so I have time to plan.

    Reply
  10. karen
    May 24, 2012

    Lisa,
    Thank you for your honesty in sharing the truths about adoption and family. Our family recently welcomed a 10 yr old boy from foster care into our home. Summer will present many challenges and it is so awesome to read your posts and know we aren't alone!!! Praying for your transition in this new season, we serve a MIGHTY GOD:)

    Reply
  11. Leah
    May 24, 2012

    Summer school and after school care. When did I become the mom that put her child in after school care. Well I am and I think we LOVE it. A little less time at home during those hard dinner prep hours is better for everyone. Year round school seems like a "sad" thing for a child but I think for our girl it might be the best thing.

    Reply
  12. raychrisdejazzd
    May 24, 2012

    We had off for "records day" and had 1 major meltdown and 1 almost meltdown. They have school for the morning tomorrow…then I'd better have a schedule on the fridge….and I do not do schedules

    Reply
  13. dorothy bode
    May 25, 2012

    Yeah… that's my life too. We school year round to deal with it and rotate even our summer days through a predictible schedule of work/play eat/rest/work/play/eat/rest….I am always ready for winter though when half the options go away and life becomes less complex again….(cant believe I wrote that —likeing MN winters!)

    Reply
  14. Angela
    May 25, 2012

    Yes Lisa, Thank you for your honesty! I too am holding my breath about summer. We have 3 adopted kiddos plus a sib set of 4 in foster care that live with us….the oldest is 8 and the youngest kiddo here is 2. Our family is going on vacation in mid June but I am already cringing at what I call re-entry when we pick up our sib set upon return. There will be meltdowns and tantrums, etc. All I have planned so far is swimming lessons in JUly…….not much to go on! I really need to kick it into another gear and come up with more structured days.

    Reply

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