Monday, April 16, 2012

Anticipating summer with joy

I wrote yesterday about trying to enjoy the little things during Akila's absence.  I did not mention them all, but just gave you a sample of the little things.  There is also a big thing that I want to write about.

Summer.  I have dreaded it for years.  Strange, since it is by far my favorite season.  I grew up on a lake, we had a speed boat.  Water skiing was something I loved, and just about anything water related.  I enjoyed summer during college, even though every summer I took summer classes and worked.

When I started my professional career after college, I worked for Community Education (CE).  If you work for CE, that means your summers stink.  You are in charge of all the programs to keep the kids busy while school is out.  Summer was intense, very intense.  10 plus hour days, and plenty of weekends.  Lots of stress.  Then we started adopting kids.  One each year for 4 years in a row.

I didn't quit working full-time until we adopted our 3rd child, Hezekiah.  Then I worked part-time for the National Youth Leadership Council directing a week long intensive program for high school students called the National Youth Leadership Training (a fabulous program by the way, that I think all high schoolers should try and attend!).  Directing this extremely intense program, on top of having 4 tiny kids, was crazy.  I did that from 2002-2006.

2006.  Six years ago.  That is when Akila was diagnosed with FASD, right after my mom passed away.  Every year since then, she has become more challenging, and some of her challenges, have made summer hard.  Very hard.

For the first time, I am looking forward to summer.  Yes, I have some pangs of guilt with this feeling, even when I know it is OK to feel like this.  But it is very hard to explain the excitement I have for this summer.  Looking forward to some lazy days, lots of beach days, long bike rides, road trips, hopefully a little water skiing (my knees can't handle much after 6 surgeries, but I don't tell my Orthopedic Doc that I even try), time with friends, etc.

Normally, at this time of the year as summer is quickly approaching, I am starting to feel a yucky feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Getting anxious and seeking out programs to sign Akila up for, which she ultimately refuses to go to.  I was looking at the calendar earlier today to see how much of school is left.  I did not have an icky feeling.  It felt good.

Yesterday, I was looking at the little things.  Some people might say that anticipating summer is a little one.  For me, it is a big one.  First time in over 20 years that I am looking forward to it.  Even if it is a flop (pray with me that it isn't!), I am going to be thankful for anticipating summer with joy.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I love summer, too!! I grew up where we could run just out of town and jump in the river on a hot day. I don't blame you for looking forward to it!

Rhonda said...

Barb, I remember a wonderful summer visit to your lake home in Wilmar many years ago. My mom took us there on a train. We had so much fun right there on the water. I remember going to a drive-in movie & fighting millions of mosquitos! I loved your mom's beautiful Fiestaware dishes. Your family helped us have a wonderful summer memory.

Rachel said...

I think that it is great that you can see the forest for the tress!

AKBrady said...

Yes. A thousand, million times yes.

NoMatterWhatMom said...

Positive anticipation is such a wonderful thing. I lost that for quite a while after we adopted our three, with all of their issues, but I, too, have regained it recently and it feels really good.