Goals · Motherhood · Parenting · Twins

Next Summer…

Yes, I know summer officially ended over a month ago, but here in Texas, this is the first full week it has actually felt like fall, at least temperature-wise. Of course we have had the same pumpkin patch photos, seasonal-flavored lattes and gourd-decorated front porches as everyone else. But until now, most summer activities were still a go.

{To be clear, temps are still in the mid-high 70s, but in Texas, that means it’s time to break out the boots.}

Despite the extra time, there are still 142 things I wish I could have done this summer, but didn’t. Luckily, summer rolls around once a year and in Texas, that means April. To make sure I’m ready, I’m starting a list.

Next summer, we will swim more. Like more than two times. I proclaimed that Summer 2015 would be the season of the swim. The twins were just a few months old and too young the summer before, I said. Summer 2015 will be different. And then we got ready to swim for the first time. We put on swim diapers (after several minutes of trying to figure out what was the front). We put on sunscreen. We put on the bathing suits and hats. And then we did the same for ourselves, sans swim diapers (though it’s not a bad idea). We loaded the floats, the towels, the extra everything, the dry clothes for later and the babies in the car. We arrived at my sister’s pool exhausted and overheated because it was probably 102 degrees. And we swam for 10 minutes.

The truth is I hate swimming. Always have. But I don’t want my boys to feel the same way. I want them to enjoy and feel safe in the water.

So yes, next summer, we will commit to lessons and swimming on our own more. I might even fill the inflatable pool we bought with water instead of balls (assuming it makes its way out of the dining room of course). Begrudgingly, this applies to splash parks too.

Next summer, we will go to the zoo. We made a lot of excuses about the heat and the distance. And it’s true that spending time outside in Dallas in the middle of the summer (outside of a pool) is not enjoyable and, at times, even unsafe. But there are always early mornings and considering the only sound that comes out of our boys are animal ones, we need to make this a priority.

Taking babies anywhere more than 20 minutes away, especially twins, when two naps are still happening, is overwhelming. By the time you get in the car, you have to head home (while screaming music class songs at the top of your lungs to keep them awake). Our boys are currently transitioning to one afternoon nap, and while I will miss that morning snooze where I could get ready for the day or clean up breakfast, I’m excited for the freedom we gain to get out and about.

In case you are catching on to a theme, I don’t possess a natural inclination for the outdoors. I don’t let JB sleep with the windows open because it “smells like outside.” I love a good walk, eating al fresco, and soaking in some Vitamin D at the Arboretum, but prolonged outdoor activity makes me fidgety.

So we bought a zoo membership to ensure, if nothing else, we would feel so guilty about wasting money that we would have to use it. To be fair, our kids aren’t complete victims of our laziness and we did go once toward the end of the summer. I promise that most of the time we had their stroller actually facing the animals.

zooNext summer, we will watch fireworks. Now this one is about my husband’s lack of interest. Similar to his disdain for watching movies in a theater (unless I can produce sound evidence the movie will be nominated for an Academy Award), JB is just not a fan of the Fourth of July and its accompanying bursts of lights and sound.

I haven’t pushed on this because I don’t think the boys would particularly care for the loud noises. Next summer will likely be a better time for Independence Day festivities anyway. But it’s still helpful to put it out in the universe as I could easily see us coming up with an excuse to wait another summer.

This post isn’t meant to, as they say in psychology, “should all over myself.” I have no doubt our boys had a fulfilling summer doing what they love best — playing with their family and friends and throwing books at my face while they giggle with delight. It’s more about not letting my own preferences and pet peeves (don’t even get me started on Halloween) get in the way of exposing my boys to the many joys — big and small — in life.

As parents we can come up with plenty of excuses to avoid something: crowds, weather, schedules, etc. And I know soon enough our kids will develop their own eye rolls and annoyances. In the meantime, while I am the biggest influencer in their lives, I’m searching for the right balance between maximizing their learning opportunities and not being absolutely miserable.

Because we the parents still count a little bit, right? (right?)

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2 thoughts on “Next Summer…

  1. That sounds great. Lovely plans for the summer with your twin boys. I openly favor spring and summer to the cold weather. lol. We used to live in Texas and NYC. And I remember the heat and humidity in Texas. So I am sure you guys get some well deserved relief right now.

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    1. Thanks for reading and commenting Nadja! Yes, we are definitely enjoying some mild temps right now and taking advantage of it to spend time outdoors. Our winter might not be the same as other places, but it’s cold enough to drive you inside! I agree that when winter does come, I always say I will welcome the hot temps in summer!

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