Summers are my busy season.
I have to parent 100 times more in the summer. My job gets legitimately harder when school lets out.
Everything becomes hurried. I have to rush through showers so my children don’t die, which ultimately results in me forgetting to shave my right armpit. This typically goes unnoticed for quite some time. The discovery is not pretty.
In the summer, grocery shopping takes on a speedy pace. I corral my kids in a “big” cart with the turning radius of a semi-truck. I say “Don’t touch that!” a million and one times in 25 minutes. I leave with bananas, fruit snacks, toilet paper, and a toothbrush no one needed. Yet somehow, I manage to spend $150. I question nothing because the entire shopping trip is a blur. I text my husband and blame him for their behavior. Then I tell him I failed to get one single item on the list and he will need to stop on his way home.
This year, my busy season started early. There are baseball games, baseball practice, softball games, boy scout outings, and pre-K performances. Every night is filled with some kind of activity. I find myself just pushing through, with no real end in sight.
Busy seasons leave me depleted. As an introvert, I need time to breathe. I need a minute (or 50) alone. As I grow older, I am understanding the meaning of rest. I tend to fill my “time off” with coffee dates or girls nights. While those things are great and community is needed for my soul, I find what I really need is solitude.
Donald Miller said this about introverts:
“To understand how an introvert works, imagine every time you find yourself in conversation, you had to jog in place. So while an extrovert is sitting and having coffee and talking and sharing their life, an introvert is jogging in place right there at the table. They can do it for a while, but not all day every day.”
That Don, he is just brilliant. His words are SO accurate.
I just picked up my son from his last day of school. The thick, lazy air of summer has just begun to settle around me, and yet, I have already started planning. Filling our days with pool dates and zoo outings. I even pack in BBQs with friends. In case I don’t feel stretched thin enough, I decide to voluntarily offer my time at summer school. My introverted brain cannot handle all the plans.
I must slow down. I must breathe. I must allow summer to be easy and carefree. The way it was intended.
Otherwise, I will have hairy armpits and malnourished kids.