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  • Katie Kemp

Summer Vibes

Sometimes I comment to other moms that I’m bracing myself for the summer. Sometimes I feel myself holding my breath because if I’m honest, summers are part glorious, part hard. In my quiet house with my kids at school for one of their last few days this year, I have silence.⠀ ⠀ This year was the very first year my kids were in school full days, and I got to be an adult human doing adult working things for the first time in 12 years. To say I loved it is an understatement. I loved getting to work on my own writing and speaking but I’ve also loved building websites, hosting a retreat, and coaching women who are launching incredible things in the world. But the months of June, July and August are upon us and so I must switch my intention and focus.⠀ ⠀ I have a new fire to make the most of moments this summer. Maybe because my kids are 12, 10 and 6 and I’m realizing how quickly it goes. ⠀ ⠀ So I’m here, in my quiet house and I’m going to write a letter to myself to remind me of what I’m excited for so that when the going gets tough and I’m telling my kids to turn off the screen or stop fighting, I’ll be able to look at this list and renew my inspiration, even if it’s layered under mud tracked in or siblings screaming at each other. ⠀ ⠀ SO here it goes. ⠀ ⠀ 1. I get to foster creativity and create an environment to be creative. I love nothing more than when I see my kids get lost in their play. I love when they get passionate about something, even if it’s puffy paint on memory foam. I love when they forget about time or how long they are doing something because they are completely immersed in the joy of creating. THIS is my absolute favorite thing about summer. So if mud pies are made or things I’d never want hot glued are suddenly together, in my mind, it’s a win because creativity should go big at home. Cook, garden, build, imagine, act, sing, dance, play. My kids doing what they do best gives me the okay to do the same. ⠀

2. I can create space for them to rest. Their little brains work really hard at school. They are processing socially, mentally, emotionally. I know they are at burnout when the world crumbles in a pile of tears because, "your brother just looked at you." They are tired and in the summer, they get to rest. I see their mental health return before my eyes as they get to allow their minds, bodies and souls to recover.

⠀ 3. We get to do lots of exploring in nature. This is on the top of the list next to creating. Nature is something that is wild and wonderful and reminds us that life is precious and we are part of it. It also forces me to be present. So bring on the frogs and mud and gardening and wide open CO skies. This is what children’s hearts are made of. “Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,⠀ the world offers itself to your imagination,⠀ calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting - over and over announcing your place in the family of things.” -Mary Oliver. ⠀

4. I get to teach my kids life skills. There is little margin during the school year to explore all that kids should learn before flying the coop. Chopping vegetables, cleaning toilets, laundry, mowing lawns, building something from wood, expanding their abilities in general life skills. They could Marie Kondo their bedrooms if they wanted, or walk the neighbor’s dog or clean cars. The point is we have space to explore these life skills. ⠀

5. I get to make memories that I’ll cherish in my heart when they are away. I know full well these are the golden years. The time is coming when they will be old enough for their own adventures, without mom and dad. But for now, family trips and outings in nature are the memory making mojo. I want to hold these experience in gratitude.⠀

6. I get to foster in them ways they can be of service to others. I want my kids to know that what they can bring to the world now, matters. I want them to press into ways they can contribute. My role is to help make that happen. ⠀

7. I get to daily speak their worthiness to them. In “The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting,” Brenè Brown talks about how parents are able to distinguish between shame (I am bad) and guilt (I did something bad) for their children. Because of the relationship of my own shame narrative, I’ve not always distinguished between the two. I have a new fire in me and am determined to do better in this area.⠀

8. They get to learn the value of hard work. I want them to be challenged this summer. We’ve got lists of chores and places in life that need practicing. We get to celebrate effort and feel the excitement of trying until we make it. Last summer we ran “life miles” when there was too much complaining, so maybe we’ll go for round two. Or wash some windows? ⠀

8. We can together practice gratitude. “I think what separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.” -Brenè Brown⠀ ⠀ I know I’ll check back on this list for myself to keep my intention of what I’m hoping to do with my kids. I also know that I’ll be intentional about taking care of myself. I want to commit to waking up before them to have the space to fill my soul before we start the day. I want to practice a rhythm that aligns with my capacity- which means it might be slow, much slower with lots of baking and gardening in my pjs. ⠀ ⠀ What is on your list, mama? What are you looking forward to as you participate in your kiddos lives? What do you want to be intentional about his summer? ⠀ ⠀ Cheering you on! ⠀ ⠀

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