Final Summer Days

Summer is quickly winding down and with it, so are my lazy mornings and afternoons alone with my daughter.  For the first time in her life, my daughter is sleeping in. I swear she is still on Arizona time, as she is running consistently two hours behind what she has been running for the past several years both in the morning (which is kind of nice) and at bedtime (not as nice). It’s going to be a difficult transition next Monday!

She has had a long summer. Arizona schools start summer break earlier and Texas schools start school later. Therefore, she has had almost a full month of summer longer than her peers. Of course it’s been busy with moving, but we have also found plenty of time for fun and exploring.

One thing I’ve been focusing on these past few weeks is some quieter time together in the afternoon. We have been doing a lot of coloring and drawing.  Although I am not a talented artist by any means, I do enjoy drawing, doodling and coloring with her. It gives us a chance to talk or just be together quietly. It can be almost meditative.

 

(One of her favorite things to do is write stories. I’m sure there is a moral in this one somewhere.)August 10, 2017-ECC_7658EileenCritchley1

August 10, 2017-ECC_7668EileenCritchley1

 

Our other favorite quiet activity right now is playing games. Her favorites are Clue and Scrabble. She can’t get enough Scrabble. As I write this, in fact, I just promised her another game this afternoon. I look forward to playing the “grown up” version with her one day soon.

August 08, 2017-ECC_7607-EditEileenCritchley1

This days are precious to me, although I know there is a time and a season for everything. It’s definitely time to head back to school for her, but it’s going to be an adjustment for both of us.

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An In Between Space

Leading up to our recent move, we were living a weird sort of limbo for months. Waiting, waiting, waiting for something to happen. And once it did, it happened fast. Packers and movers came, school ended, we left Arizona, we moved into our new house all within a matter of about 2 weeks, start to finish.

Then, my husband worked mostly part-time (in-processing) for the month of June. So we still had plenty of time for family adventures and getting settled into our new city.

dad_and_daughter_green_trees_summer_hotel_framed_by_doorway_greune_texas| daddy's girl_by Eileen Critchley

He started his job full-time in July. BUT my mom came out to visit for a week. We lost my dad earlier this year, and I really wanted to spend some time with my mom this summer. My daughter adores her. They played and drew and colored. Also, Grandma (my daughter calls her “Goma”) is hilarious.

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And now, my daughter and I find ourselves held in abeyance. One of my priorities is finding ways to keep her busy and get her around other kids as much as I can. We go to the gym and pool a lot, and she makes friends instantly, but these playdates (or whatever you would call them) are short-lived. And I feel like I’m striking out in other ways, right and left. We tried gymnastics because she enjoyed tumbling in Phoenix. She didn’t like gymnastics at all so that lasted all of two classes. We tried a Spanish tutor because she really wants to learn Spanish, but realized that wasn’t going to work out either, as having a Spanish tutor a few times a week wasn’t going to be practical in the long term and her new school teaches Mandarin rather than Spanish (don’t get me started on THAT!).

It’s challenging because my daughter really derives her energy from being around other people. While I am perfectly content to spend my afternoon reading or watching a movie, her heart and soul lies in being surrounded by others. So we have to find balance.

But, I’m a little stuck on how to do this. When she was younger we had MOMS Club and MOPS and other such sources of companionship. Now she’s at an in-between age– too old for playdates like that, too young for many camps and other activities.

So last night I decided to stop trying. One month of summer remains before she heads to her new school (a topic for a different day). The rest of summer for us is going to be movies and ice cream, the library and the pool, the children’s museum and the zoo, the park and backyard exploring.

July 06, 2017-ECC_7208big_oak_tree_by Eileen Critchley

Lots and lots of mommy-daughter time.

This year is going to be a  year of waiting and surviving, pushing through it to see what happens next.

The story of our life in limbo.