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I Failed At My Summer To-Do List

Photograph by My House Full of Boys

Summer vacation is gone. Like, seriously. Gone.

I remember in May, before summer even started, I wrote out my daily schedule that I was planning to have throughout summer, along with what all I would accomplish both personally and with my kids.

These were some of the things on my to-do list:

Wake up early.

Read no less than 30 minutes a day with each child.

I was going to teach my Pre-K twins the entire alphabet and what sounds each letter makes.

We were going to memorize a weekly Bible verse.

I was going to clean my entire house and get rid of the junk in every room including our packed shop.

I was going to have a relaxing and ready for summer spa/spray tan week (thanks, Groupon!).

I was going to start teaching my kids Spanish.

My first grader loves math. I was going to teach him multiplication, division, and fractions.

I was going to encourage my twins to be excited about sports.

I was going to exercise and eat healthy so that I could tone and lose some weight.

I was going to be #craftingmomma.

I was going to make sure my kids had amazing manners at the end of summer.

I was going to have a tadpole science experiment and see which food would help them grow fastest. The boys were going to do some sciencing!

I was going to teach my baby some songs so that I could post "cute baby singing videos" on FB like everyone else does.

This is what actually happened:

Instead of reading to the boys, I read eight books this summer for myself. (I get addicted.)

I have taught my twins the letters A, B, and C.

We haven't memorized bible verses -- at home.

My house hasn't changed a bit. I still have the same junk boxes that I had in May, which are also the same junk boxes I had last May and the May before that.

My house still doesn't look like a magazine picture, but it is home.

My Groupon spa deal was a failure. Spray tanning cost extra so I decided to bed-tan. I burned horribly and apparently a bulb was out. I was thinking I would come home all cutesy. My husband told me my back looked like a sunburnt zebra.

The only Spanish my kids learned was piscina, which means swimming pool. That is because we were at a pool for over half the summer.

The only math we have done is when my 7-year-old tells me how much over/under the speed limit I'm going when we drive somewhere.

The twins have played absolutely no sports. They've literally spent all summer catching bugs, spiders, frogs and other creatures.

I haven't exercised. I've actually gained weight.

The only crafting I did was making silly putty. I literally used 10 large bottles of glue throughout the summer.

Instead of manners, I showed the boys how funny it would be to release 30 frogs into the girls bathhouse at church camp.

Our tadpoles were eaten by a bird (or something). But they were heavily played with for several days with eight little hands before disappearing.

Beau has yet to learn a song. I don't have a prodigy baby. He has learned to climb on top of the bunk beds and hide from me.

I didn't give my kids a great summer education, clean house or "summer-ready" mom. I didn't transform them into the "All-American" athlete or student. They're still not the calm, quiet boy. They haven't changed a bit. They're still mud-loving, outdoor-playing, rambunctious, energetic, little daredevils.

When I realized my lack of accomplishment, I got really down on myself and thought, "Gah -- what on earth have I done all summer?"

Then it hit me.

What I did give them was myself. I didn't wake up early every day. About half the summer I slept late with them and enjoyed late morning cuddles.

We didn't read as much as I wanted, but we talked more than I thought we would. Instead of just teaching them bible verses at home, I taught at church camp and they came with me. They learned a lot there. We spent a lot of time praying and playing, singing, tickling and wrestling.

My cute, "summer-ready body" actually became a tan-lined mom-bod that was at the pool almost every day, splashing in the water with no make-up on.

My house still doesn't look like a magazine picture, but it is home.

I've played in the mud, jumped on trampolines, pulled out splinters, held frogs and tadpoles, and have experienced a "boy-hood" summer. While it wasn't what I had originally wanted to give my children this summer, giving them my time has been worth so much more than what I could have written down on a to-do list.

I'm now so thankful that I didn't live up to my summer expectations.

I would love to hear what was on your summer to do list!

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