The perfect summer spot

IMG_0296This is a post for the SITS Girls “Stop the Summer Slump” Challenge.

Behold, the spot that makes my summer perfect. I know a lot of parents who hate the trek to the beach – the sand, the noise, the hassle. I love it. I have spent many an afternoon with this view.

I’ve worked under an umbrella while my kids played on the dock. Spent an afternoon with a good book in the hazy sun. Been one of the first to arrive in the morning and the last to leave at night. Picnicked on a quiet evening after most others have gone.

I’ve changed diapers in the family changing room. Chased a two-year-old through the shallows. Built sand castles. Visited with other parents while our kids swam and shouted in the water. Eyeballed teens hanging out together on the hill, not interfering, but providing my presence as needed (and also my cash for concessions, of course.) Watched a bald eagle circle the kids on the dock.

I’ve been happy here. Sad here. Content. Frustrated. Angry. At peace.

When my children are gone, out in the world (and that day will come all too soon) this is the spot that will come to mind when I think of summer. And I may just head over to sit in this spot, for an hour or two. To remember. And feel at peace.

Why I’m making tiny capes today

heart

Although I believe Valentine’s Day to be one in a long line of commercially exploited holidays, this evening will find me at the dining room table cutting out tiny capes (and swearing) in an attempt to inject a little joy into my young son’s school celebration.

I do this not because I am Mom of the Year (last time I checked, I was ranked a distant 7,383,458) but because I am nostalgic for the days when holidays in school really meant something. Say what you will, there were some things the 70’s really had going for them.

I do it because this is the only holiday kids still celebrate in our public schools. And I think it’s sad. I understand why we secularize the schools, and at a foundational level I approve, but it still feels joyless. Gone are the days when school children learned Christmas carols at school, or discussed, with reverence, the first Thanksgiving, a particularly polarizing event where we live.

Even Halloween, with its costumed parade and party, is gone. (Although why it is deemed more threatening than a holiday named after St. Valentine I do not know. I think it has more to do with enforcing the dress code and the zero-tolerance weapons policy.)

When I was a kid, valentines were something to see. They were actual cards that opened and closed, and they were delivered in envelopes with your name carefully printed on the front. And giving the valentines was as fun as getting them. Each card in the box was different, and we spent hours matching each card to the appropriate recipient. (Although, come to think of it, there was always one dog you ended up giving to the kid who sat behind you during science and threw wadded-up paper into your hair.)

But I’m honoring the good times, so tiny capes it is, soon to be affixed to 30 gluten-free, peanut-free, cherry suckers. Bring on the scissors. And maybe a glass of wine or two.

While there will be no trophy, my effort did earn me some faint praise from my son. As he put it, “Regular moms just buy valentines at the store, but you do a lot of work. You’re an irregular mom.”

Oh, and by the way – should you desire to make the little capes yourselves, here is a link to the pattern from Zakka Life. Surely you didn’t think I made this one up on my own? If yes, you clearly are not a regular reader.

Superhero Valentine

Picture and project credit: www.zakkalife.com

Have a good one, commercial exploitation and all.