As I write this I am enjoying the end of autumn, after fighting futilely to hold on to summer. Summer is the season that I resist the ending of. After all, we get only eighteen of these things before our children fly the nest.
When I realized how much I identify with this season, I gained a deeper understanding of myself. And I realized that how I see myself as a mom largely depends on how our summers go. If we’re making memories and having fun, then I feel like I’m doing a good job—simple as that.
Summer of 2020 looked different than the rest. It felt shorter. We didn’t take a vacation. We never went to the pool. This summer, I stopped seeing myself as the family fun cruise ship activities director.
Instead, I turned my focus to trying to instill in my daughter (and to cultivate in myself) an inner strength and a resilience, and a deep compassion for others.
I want to teach her how to successfully captain her ship through storms, while helping others to arrive safely at port.
We learned to rest more and to focus on our mental and physical health in this stormy summer. We learned to hunker down and find contentment in simple things, like putting a puzzle together at home.
As we continue to alter our course to navigate a pandemic as a family, amidst the unrest in our nation, I have stopped striving to create a life for our family that is comfortable and cozy, like a Pottery Barn catalog.
I now ask myself how I’m doing at equipping our daughter to endure the challenges that life will throw her way.