We’re in the car. We’re ten minutes away from where we need to be in five minutes. (I am my mother’s daughter, after all).
Ed Sheeran is singing about the Castle on the Hill on the radio; the littlest little has just informed us that it’s his favorite song and has asked me to turn it up. His twin is crying that he’s thirsty and needs a drink (we left home three minutes ago, and he’d had a drink with his breakfast, right before we left).
It’s the fourth day of having all three boys home with me on summer vacation, and I’m frazzled, despite the fact that the oldest helped the littlest make their own breakfast (cereal and cantaloupe) and they didn’t even make a mess. The bigger twin slept late, and has been very agreeable since he woke up.
Still, getting them in the car and where we need to be, on time, isn’t easy even on the best days. (During a kindergarten field trip recently, another mom and I were commenting on how much easier it was to be on time before kids. I was rarely late, until I was a mom).
We drive past the local college, deserted for the summer but very much alive with its blooming flowers, towering old trees lush with leaves, and shady green lawn. Across the street, a man is walking his dog. And then, out of the corner of my eye, I watch the man slowly reach out his hand, and pull a flowering vine close to his face to smell.
In that moment, I felt a twinge of guilt for my rushing. Guilt for taking for granted the fact that it’s a beautiful, sunny late spring morning, that I have three of my loviest little loves with me, that their chatter and singing fill my car and my heart in a way that not many other things can.
Our boys are inquisitive and precocious, always asking insightful questions (last night we were on a quest to learn “where do snotties come from?” for one of the twins). We discuss and explain and research and ask Google and Alexa daily for the answers to the questions these boys ask that I often don’t know how to answer. We’ve started reading the Harry Potter series to meet summer reading goals.
Summer break is my turn to make sure these boys continue learning and growing and discovering. Through my “grown-up eyes,” I sometimes forget how much they can learn just by remembering to…
Stop and smell the flowers.
Enjoy summer break, friends. It comes but once a year. Let’s make the most of this time.