Remember writing themes? Back in the days before we all had blogs and status updates, I would sit at a desk and write long-handed on loose-leaf paper. And to own all of my 41 years, I remember the word “margins” being drilled into my brain like in the scene from “A Christmas Story”.
And in those golden days, the first day of school always included the writing of a theme reflecting on what the three preceding months had held for me. So I thought that I would renew that tradition but with a 2012 twist. This is my Summer Vacation theme for a blogging mommy.
Truthfully, it is ironic to call it summer vacation. To start, this is always true as a mom — if school is out, mom is in. And on duty. But on top of being double-duty Mom, I actually went back to work for seven weeks. It was a return to my roots as I was teaching acting to teens.
Truthfully, it was a mixed blessing. I still love the theatre and I am always invigorated by being back within the hallowed halls. I also love teaching drama to kids, especially teens. They stand on the line between caring too much about everything and not caring at all about anything. It’s an exciting and terrifying time and I love seeing how theatre reaches them on a different level. It reminds me of the passion of my past while providing me real hope for the future.
This time-shifting foray into the art world is not without a cost, however. My kids, especially my daughter, are not accustomed to a working mom. Being older and looking for a little independence from Mommy, my son handled the transition pretty well. But my daughter did not. And by did not, I mean full-on tantrums, screaming that I didn’t love her anymore, and crying jags. Basically, she ripped out my mommy soul.
So choices had to be made. If I was going to play actress all day, I needed to be Super-Mommy all night. I came home from work and I did not write, I did not blog, and I did only the minimal cleaning. I played a lot of Barbies and watched a lot of Sponge-Bob. Sometimes I loved it and sometimes… not so much. But I always love my kids and I needed them to know that I was still her Mommy first. I lost a lot of sleep and even more “Me” time. But it was not all bad.
I now know my daughter can weave incredibly detailed stories for her Barbies. I now know my son can build anything with Legos — I am pretty sure that our next home will be made of those colored bricks. And the three of us now know we have a shared passion for board games. We played Monopoly and Sorry a lot. And I introduced them to Life and they loved it.(They also discovered the card game “War” which I remember loving as a child and my parents never wanting to play. Now I know why.) I must say that there is a real beauty to sitting on the floor, rolling a real die and counting spaces with a five year old, and making play money change with an eight year old. I will carry those moments with me always.
And when all the play-acting was over, I chose to venture into the dreaded LWOWF — Land Without Wi-Fi. Some of you rightly pointed out that it looked “farm-y”. I went with the kiddos to a lake resort. We swam, we played putt-putt and we continued our new board-game tradition. And we went to a farm. We petted friendly animals and dodged a few less than friendly animals. All in all, we had a great time.
But now, we are home. We have Daddy and we have Wi-Fi. Mommy has a few moments to write and a whole lot of laundry. And we have a new tradition — Game Night. So that’s what I did for my Summer Vacation.
What did you do this summer?