Summer in Canada is way too short and shouldn’t be taken for granted. Even the most hot, humid, mind-melting days are better than a blizzard in the middle of February or a cold spell that freezes your nose hairs.
In recent years, we haven’t been able to enjoy summer activities all together. Two of our children have graduated from university and are working full-time. One lives in another province and is writing for a newspaper. Some of the kids are working at summer jobs. Now when we go camping we take two less tents. The older kids have great memories of biking, road trips, campfires and picnics by this creek. The younger three are still making summertime memories.
I only work three days a week during the summer, squeezing all my patient visits into a limited space of time so I can be home with the young’uns. On the week days when I’m off, we do day trips. If it’s raining, we do indoor things like museums and movies. Some days, my beloved can join in the fun or at least meet us for lunch.
When I’m not working, I’m with my family. When I’m not with my family, I’m working. The casualty in this arrangement is my house. My messy, dusty, cluttered house complete with a Mt. Everest laundry pile.
I could obsess. I could cry. I could tear out my freshly coloured hair. But what would be the point?
Send in the kids. Put up a chores list. Make sure everyone is on the same page. The house will never look like a magazine cover but at least it’s livable.
It’s taken years of blood, sweat and tears (figuratively) but we’ve gotten to the point where everyone knows that there’s no escaping the chores list and the sooner we cooperate, the sooner we can get on with life. If a sibling isn’t home to do his/her chore on a given day, the others work it out among themselves.
As for me, I’ve had to learn to live with “good enough.” There may still be crumbs on the kitchen floor. The furniture may be seldom dusted. There’s a pile of library books on the coffee table and Lego pieces scattered on the TV room floor. The Mt. Everest laundry pile keeps reappearing. Whatever.
We’re on our third bottle of sunscreen and we spent the day catching minnows and bugs in the creek. We’re all filthy and my kids are counting down the days ’til our next day trip.
Ah, summer. Enjoy it. We’ve got all winter to do the laundry.