What I did on my summer “vacation”

Before the nice people in the unemployment offices read this and think I wasn’t looking for a job as part of the last four months, let me assure that it was at the top of the list every day.  Our summer days started with my rising to find on average four to six emails had been delivered to the email box dedicated only to the job hunt.  While the puppy ate breakfast and Cole slept in, I read and responded to the most appropriate opportunities.  After all efforts of application and follow-up were exhausted, there were various household chores that needed attention.  Stay with me, this “vacation” gets better.  I bore you with the standard schedule to present the over-arching theme of the summer (or so I thought) was to find a job.  There was something far greater to seek and embrace.

Time; a season with Cole that I would have never had; morsels of priceless moments that included impromptu water gun fights, silly singing in the car, afternoons spent at the swimming pool, and conversations that I will cherish for the rest of my days.

We worked together on household chores and I taught him to mow the lawn.  We took a few minutes to one night to look outat the full moon.  Another night we sat on the deck and looked at the stars.  He showed me the big dipper and the little dipper. We baked our favorite Christmas cookies and pressed them into non-Christmas shapes.  We volunteered at Lifebridge, sorting clothing and school supplies for those in need.  How wonderful to see Cole’s enthusiasm for helping others.  I had time to not worry about bed times and chores I only had evenings to complete.  With a slower pace, it seemed our time was less hectic and more meaningful.

This was the summer before Cole started middle school.  Yes, middle school, these are said to be three clumsy awkward and wonderful years a parent never considers when they first hold that sweet smelling infant.  From those who have gone before me on this parenting journey, I have been warned; but I choose to not fret.  Over the last four months, we have had these golden moments of connection that further solidified a relationship that began long before his birth.

We are over a week into the school year and have had few bumps.  The bumps will come, but when they do, I will be ready to listen first and then respond.  What I learned this summer is that the response Cole needs may be with words of wisdom, or just asking gentle questions to help him further figure out his own solution. Either way, I get to be there for Cole.

It has always been my goal as a parent to raise Cole to be a man of faith, who at the age of 18 will go off to college and his adult life.  At that point my relationship with him will change but will be soundly rooted in many hours of prayer and time well spent with him.

I wondered why God allowed this season of my life, if only for the memories the past few months gave Cole and me, I am grateful.  A job will come and I will work full time again, but I will do it with a new perspective on balancing family and work.  I will remember this pace and practice gearing down to take in moments that last a short time, but are treasured
for a lifetime.

How was your summer vacation?

All the best,



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