Oh, a mother's guilt. Books could be written on it and sometimes that dreaded emotion wants to creep in on me like a bad cold. I worry that if I don't do enough of those fun activities that are printed in pamphlets at the local touristy hot spot, or are listed in the paper and summer will spin by, leaving me only with other mommas chattering about story hour at the library or elaborate play dates at the swimming pool.
There is talk of camping or wandering down to the corner store to buy ice cream. My friends, I know to let it go when I see Big Girl sitting beside her Auntie howling with laughter when that 'skrat (Tay's way of saying muskrat) swam up beside her and splashed her with its tail. I know to ball that guilt up and chuck it out the door when I see my girls feel like they have hit the jackpot when they get to check cows and play in the creek. My heart swells a bit while they marvel at three hawks circling and screeching over the pasture, diving and swooping while Taylin exclaims, 'This is the best summer ever!'
We might not head to the splash park, but I do believe we have a small advantage with our source of summer fun. We don't need to worry about the hoards of people on days when the sun flexes it's muscles and pours out it's power when I can feed a tiny babe with my feet dunked in the cool water and our only concern is whether we packed enough snacks or not. I do believe nothing beats the smell of sage when you hop out of the truck at the creek meandering through the prairies.
My little pigeons, with summer whipping by us and all of us northerners wanting to weep a little that this is the last time we will mow for the season, relish these last days. Don't worry about packing the stroller, fifty two thousand diaper bags and the kitchen sink, just let your ol' door creak open and head outside. Feel stifled by your four walls? Go outside and look up. Look up! Talk to your children about the cotton balls in the sky, listen for that purple martin sitting high on top of the tree, and kick off your shoes and feel the prairie wool beneath your feet. Friends, don't worry about the fancy summertime Pinterest list on your homemade chalkboard of all the things you wanted to do with your babes, I have said it before and will say it again, they just. Want. You. Play with the rocks on the lane, look for an ant hill or collect some of the leaves that are falling on the ground. Don't worry about the play date, don't worry about the 'Summer Fun' page in your local paper, just walk outdoors, and open your peepers. You have the best play park ever - one designed by the master designer. All of nature is ready to have a party, and if your two year old wets their pants in the water, there will be no major break down, 'cause the cows don't care.
Here's to the dog days of summer. Enjoy!