Summer is full of unfulfilled promises we made to ourselves during the spring about what we would do once the weather turned warmer. If you’re anything like us, you didn’t hold yourself to your promises this summer. Still, we had fun not doing much at all and not meeting our goals. Here’s where we fell short.
I'm accustomed to summer getaways to the beach, so I wasn't sure how to enjoy a landlocked state. At my father's suggestion, we visited as many farm animals as possible. We visited neighbors' farms. We visited farm museums. (Actually, we skipped the museum and just ran after my son who was running toward the live farm animals.) On our car rides to and from the various farms, we remarked at every cow, horse, and sheep in the landscape. It was so fun to hear my son apply his animal sounds in context.
This was all supposed to be fun. Where did we go wrong? It was a perfect beach day on paper. We planned our beach trip around the coolest time on the hottest day. We scheduled our drive to avert nap disaster and beach traffic. Despite our best efforts, we somehow committed a parenting failure.
You may have heard about the infamous 'bull's eye' rash. This rash appears in 80–90% of Lyme cases but doesn't inevitably show up after you've been bitten by a tick. That is part of what's so scary to me about finding ticks on those I love: Ticks don't leave tell-tale signs that you've been infected with their diseases. Each case is different.
For those of you who are still at the NICU or have been there and haven't talked about it, talk about it. We need to create more communities for NICU families to talk about this incredibly difficult experience and how it shapes us as caregivers. I'd love to hear your story. Because mine needs company.
I've distanced myself from my arts-inspired, pre-motherhood life, and I've readjusted my mindset about how my son can enjoy art. I would love for my son to appreciate the finer qualities of a Rembrandt drawing, but I will accept his appreciation for drawing with crayons. I'd rather my son pound his fists on his plastic keyboard than our friend's grand piano. He is still learning to be creative by exploring the possibilities of three-dimensional space with Play-Doh; he doesn't have to contemplate a Rodin sculpture.
Now that our family has kicked up our nighttime sleep game up a notch, daylight saving time is rearing its ugly head. As with any form of sleep deprivation, we can expect the time change to bring about changes in our family's appetite and mood, at best. More realistically, we anticipate that our toddler will turn it up to 11 and get a little more emotionally charged. Unless... unless there's something we can do to make the landing after daylight saving time softer.