Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom
I‘m finishing this post off in a Midwestern hotel, right before the start of a journey we’ve planned all year (and that I’ve looked forward to for decades!)
We are preparing to kick off our Little House site tour–it’s like the ultimate field trip, visiting some of the sites that Laura called home.
All year long the kids and I have been studying the Little House books, in anticipation of actually seeing and experiencing some of what the Ingalls did long ago. I cannot wait!
But we are also a family of five heading out on a road trip, and I’m no fool. I’ve traveled with our family before and I know it’s not all peaches and cream.
Besides the inspiration, we will have other things to experience as well:
- hours as a family each day in the car
- lack of sleep compared to our usual routine
- different food than what we’re used to
- sibling bickering and/or nose picking at inopportune times
- the weather–which may or may not cooperate each day
- someone in the family having a bad attitude at what should be a special moment (and just so you know, that someone could be me. Just sayin’.)
The good and the bad, the yin and the yang, the ups and the downs–they always go together in these lives of ours, don’t they? The ocean is only beautiful because the waves go up and down again–if a wave only went up, we’d call that a disaster.
As Steve and I drive around this week and I glance behind us in the car’s side mirrors, I’ll see a statement printed there:
“Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.”
Sometimes it’s when we look back that we see what was closest–what was dearest. At times our lives make way more sense in reverse than they do going forward.
I notice this when I think back to our time in the Philippines last summer. That was a heck of a lot of work–hours and hours of endless flying, an airsick child (on multiple flights, oh my), and even dealing with racism.
But was it worth it?
My goodness yes. Looking back now, our family will cherish so many of those memories forever.
Did it always feel worth it at the time? No way.
Whether you know it or not, you’re also carrying summer expectations. Maybe it’s to take your kids berry picking for the first time or get your toddler potty trained.
Maybe it’s for something big–like a new house, a budding new reader in your family, or a new job.
Keep your expectations–it’s good to have them! And also good to recognize that they are there.
So that whatever package summer ends up sending you this year, you can open it with a full heart–because this is your life, precious even on the hottest of days.
“As you read my stories of long ago I hope you will remember that things truly worthwhile and that will give you happiness are the same now as they were then. It is not the things you have that make you happy. It is love and kindness and helping each other and just plain being good. ”
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder