Life has seemed to slow down lots now that my kids are older.
When the kids were little, it seemed like I constantly ran, was perpetually exhausted.
It’s so much easier now. But sometimes, it seems so difficult too.
We protect our time and space for peace.
Each child has only one or two activities so we’re not overscheduled.
My eldest daughter is starting college and does private art lessons.
My middle daughter practices aerial gymnastics and makes jewelry.
My youngest daughter does fall soccer and art lessons.
My son does fall and spring baseball and weekly ninja classes. He’s not quite a teen yet, but he’s sure not my little boy anymore.
They’re all so independent now. Time slips through my fingers.
I try to wake up early to make a hot breakfast, clean the kitchen, start laundry, get my writing completed for the day.
Bedtime is often haphazard. There is seldom snuggling, stories, and prayers anymore. Often, we still do reading and devotions after dinner on the sofas after evenings walks and before wind down. But something definitely is lost and I miss it.
I try really hard to do tuck-ins but it’s often spurned these days. I’m often ready for bedtime and sleeptime before they are.
The best times are when we gather to listen to owls or tree frogs, watch for backyard bats, notice the moon and stars and clouds, have a heron sighting, taste a fresh tomato and herbs that we grew, go giddy over first snowflakes, rolling thunder, the smell of rain on a hot summer day, the intricacies of a perfectly formed veiny golden leaf or butterfly.
I refuse to curate perfection for social media or have a showroom house.
I refuse to give up ties to Nature.
We cycle with the seasons.
We seldom set alarm clocks. We’re not rushed. We flow.
There are some things we do year-round for continuity.
It’s just good to be flexible.
Our Schedule with Teens:
In summer, we’re at play.
We sleep late, stay up late with the sunshine.
We eat breakfast or brunch whenever we get up, usually between 8 and 9. The kids pack themselves picnic lunches and hike into the woods. We have family dinners outside on the deck if it’s cool enough.
We catch up on Netflix shows.
We enjoy observing the hummingbirds and woodpeckers and other critters that come to our backyard feeders.
The kids often swim down the street with their friend at his pool. We play with water balloons and water guns.
They go on bike rides or rollerblading.
Boredom is a good thing and sparks imagination and creativity.
We look at the night sky. We watch thunderstorms.
I want to teach them a lifetime of wonder.
In fall, we begin a new school cycle.
We read together every morning after breakfast.
They complete their lessons and have the afternoons mostly to themselves to do what they want.
We cook more with cooler weather. It’s fun trying new recipes.
We go on nature hikes to look at leaves.
Learning is a lifestyle for us, but we are more focused and scheduled in fall and winter.
Family dinners are often rushed, later, or on the go with soccer and baseball season.
We enjoy celebrating the harvest festivals. Fall is a magical time.
In winter, we’re at rest.
While the world seems to go to sleep and become dormant, we snuggle up indoors with candles and blankets.
We read more and watch educational shows.
We practice Hygge.
We still go outside on walks to look at nature changes.
We make soups and stews and bake a lot.
Family dinners are more of an event. We have the time to be more elaborate.
We celebrate feasts and festivals.
In spring, we awaken.
We stretch towards the warm sun like flowers blooming after the winter.
We’re finishing up our school lessons for the year.
We look forward to summer while we watch the world wake up and be reborn.
We greet each new bud and shade of green with awe and joy.
We’re ready for playtime again.