So tomorrow the big yellow cheese box pulls up one last time and deposits three energetic elementary age children at my front door and several days later dumps two thrill-seeking teenagers at the same spot. Ready or not, school's out for the summer and I become not only mother, but summer camp director. It's a role I've met with fear and trepidation in years past. Moans of "I'm bored" have haunted my mind as I've imagined the 90 degree heat waves of an endless summer. Each year I've devised plans and placed a few tricks up my sleeve, but this year I have a new mantra.
Presently I'm reading a book entitled Too Small To Ignore: Why the Least of These Matters Most by Dr. Wess Stafford, president of Compassion International. I'm hooked. I'm convicted, and as I read Dr. Stafford's words as he describes the preciousness of children, I'm humbled. Kids are amazing. Sometimes I can't believe God has entrusted their care to mere mortals. The decisions we make, the things we say, the actions we do, all weave together into the fabric of their lives forever, for good and for bad. Heavy.
Yet, I found a quote in Dr. Stafford's book last night that has become my mantra for the summer of 2010. "Inviting a child to participate actively in the real life of our homes beats an hour of isolated make-believe in the most lavish toy room."
Now, I'm not always so good at inviting my kids into my life. I like to get things done. I like to get things done well. Inviting a child to do the things I do requires patience pills I often run out before I can get a refill. Yet, in this culture where teens are lost and can't seem to find their purpose in life, now more than ever in our history as a nation, it's time I enhance my approach to summer vacation and seize opportunities while I have them.
So this summer when I cook, clean, play, read, sew, and all the myriad of things I do, the kids are going to be by my side as much as possible. It's going to be messy, tedious, and not always done to my standards, but ya know, who cares? Really? Who really cares? I know when that big yellow cheese box pulls up in September, I won't.