We didn’t want to move to Afghanistan in the winter because everything is darn cold, pipes are frozen and it’s hard to get a house set up wearing your coat and gloves indoors.
We waited until school was out so we could have super cute photos of Dash graduating kindergarten and (real reason) I’m terrified of homeschooling and wanted to put it off a wee bit longer.
So we have arrived in summer. I forgot about summer. Summer is hard for the Stay at Home Mom (unless she’s a fake, Pinterest Mom who lurves making faces with food, and does more crafty thingys than grudgingly opening the play-dough lids). Last summer we did all the great, free stuff available. Library reading program, Main in Motion, camping, lots and lots of camping, sprinklers and Popsicle, and pawning them off at Grandma and Grandpas as much as we could. It was still hard, and hot and there is a lot of whining about being bored. And that was just from me.
It’s summer again, but we are not in the Land of the Free (things to do all summer). A hot wind that blows all day makes it a bit like living in a hair dryer. I do a lovely impression of the Wicked Witch of the East with water on her face in hot weather and having to add two layers too many to my outfits make my melltttinnggg even more dramatic. My husband is super impressed with me.
After the initial unpacking and excitement started to wane I have found summer staring me in the face. We are only into week two here and I’m already running short on Blue Planet episodes (and also short on answering the “what happened to those baby penguins mom? mom?”) and the play-dough is going to dry out fast.
I have a two things that are a saving grace right now. The first is the fabulous family that live next door. They are Americans and have four kids all in between my kiddos’ ages. And they have a great home school room all set up and a mom who is totally down with giving them scissors, paper and walking away. They also have a lovely yard with grass, fruit and almond trees and a home made playground with a rotting wooden climbing wall that is as much fun as it is dangerous and a couple of swings. We go there in the late afternoon, as soon as they wake up from naps and the temperature starts it’s downhill slide.
And speaking of naps — that is the second saving grace — siesta, baby. It makes perfect sense in this environment. We are just starting to implement it, but Mr. Incredible and I are trying to go to bed almost as soon as the kids do, and get up much earlier while the day is cool. The internet works better early in the morning and most of my North American friends are on, so it’s a great way for me to have coffee and chat with those whose day is winding down as ours gets started. And that also means that the long hot afternoons are a perfect time for crashing under the fans for a couple hour snooze. Dash protests the loudest — and sleeps the longest. Violet, my fellow introvert, reads and writes in her journal and Jack Jack and I doze. Mr. I, who grew up spending his summers in Arizona goes out and wanders around the bazaars.
I’m trying to think of other things to do together too. Having a kitchen helper and baking muffins, a trip to the corner store with just one kid, guitar and singing with Daddy have been a hit so far. We put little wading pools out on the weekends to give them something to look forward to and the kids hop from pool to pool like little frogs.
Two weeks into our summer in Windy City and I’ll be honest, it is hard to not long for cool mountain air and play dates at a park that is safe and full of trees. I’d love your prayers and any ideas for low tech, indoor activities for Dash and Violet. Seriously, I cannot watch any more baby sea lions get eaten.