This summer I've learned a lot about myself. Since June 20, we have been homeless. Not in the live-out-of-our-car homeless. But more like living a gypsy-life-style as we've moved from place to place living with friends and family. We sold our Ivandale house (a true blessing!) in early June but our new house has taken much longer to finish than we ever expected. It's still not finished.
We've made ten moves since June 20th. The following pictures show move number 5; there was no room in the car for Charlotte, and she is very unhappy about it.
This summer, I've made a home-cooked, hot breakfast for my kids maybe three times. As we've lived in other people's homes, I haven't had access to a kitchen on a regular basis...and even when I did, I couldn't always find what I needed (where's the mixer? where's the baking soda? where's the muffin tins?).
This summer, we've been to the swimming pool once. It was a three hour escape while I helped a friend out by watching her children.
This summer, we have not attended library story time, the farm, or an amusement park. Not even once.
In some ways, I feel like this is a lost summer. It was swallowed up in Home Depot visits, hours of painting, online shopping for tile/fixtures/and flooring, and packing re-packing and un-packing. I feel a lot of guilt when I think about it. But in other ways, in lieu of being a "good" Mom (at least in how I've traditionally defined it), I've become something completely different. I've been a strong Mom. I've been a Mom who keeps trying. I've been a Mom who falls apart, but then picks myself back up and keeps going. I've been a Mom who faces complication after complication and postponement after postponement and have remained somewhat sane. Emphasis on somewhat. And maybe those things are better than "good" because they're real.
When we look back on this summer, we will categorize it as the summer where we learned we can do hard things. As the summer of realizing how generous and amazing our family and friends are (thank you to EVERYONE who opened their doors, shared their trucks, painted next to us, and invited us for Sunday dinners!) As the summer of learning to work hard. Of painting - lots of painting! Of working (yes, it was work) at the Pickwick Drama Camp!