Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer Rewind

I have to tell you I've had mixed feelings about doing this.  See, this summer has been one of the best we've ever had.  But before we get too far, don't hate me.  I'm about to get mine next week when they start school. To give you some background, Alex came out of first grade with more tics and stims than you can possibly imagine.

And it broke my heart.

It killed me to see him so anxious, so worried and sick about, well about, just about everything.  Like a slow progression throughout the school year he added stressors and anxieties.  He added too, all the modalities he uses to deal with them.  All the flapping, articulations, facial tics and stims, all the chewing gum, tapping and lip rolling.  You name it, he did it.  Little by little they added themselves to his backpack and he carried them. As the year progressed it got heavier and heavier.

This past summer I made the bold move of canceling all our therapies and let the kids be kids.  As soon as school was out we put all his school things away and went on vacation.

And seeing Alex in the sand and in the ocean, well, it was like watching a years worth of angst and turmoil falling off of his shoulders.  Like taking off that backpack for the last time, all of his worries landed with a gentle thud onto the sand.

And he didn't look back.  Like magic he was free.


So you see, I'm not too excited to look forward.  I know within twenty seconds of hitting those school doors all the anxiety and stress is going to come flooding back.  And it's going to come back with such force and fury I'm going to be swept up and away wishing desperately I could turn back the clock.

While I may not be too happy to look forward, I'll gladly look back.  Here we go.

This past summer was hot.  Really hot.  We started off going down to Sanibel and taking two weeks and relaxing.  That meant building sand castles and swimming and looking out and seeing pretty things like this.  I've sugar coated it here but if you want to read more on our cluster called a vacation you can read about it here, here and here.  And here and here and here.  And here and here.  Yeah, it was that much fun.

Then we came home and it was hot.  Really hot.  Like this hot:

And it stayed that hot, all though June, most of July and now into August.  And to think I've not lost any water weight.  I don't get it.

So we lived most of the summer at the neighborhood pool.   Got up most days and were there by 10:00AM and hoped like hell none of them drowned.  Anyone ever asks how I stay so thin it's because I'm scared to death I'm going to loose one of them and find them floating face down in the deep end.

We went out one day for a change of scenery and found this beautiful specimen of a pool.  It was probably a good thing I took them there this past week and not early June.  I would not have heard the end of it.

This is not our neighborhood pool.  I wish.

 The kids did a lot of this:

This epitomizes my daughter.  I'm in trouble.  

Must fix goggles.

And a little of that:
You know how hard it is to get all three of them in a pic?!?

I have no idea what she's pointing at.  

But most of all my kids relaxed.  They had fun.  They taught me to have fun, calm down and to cuss a lot less.  I take that back.  I still cuss like a sailor.  I'm trying not to but its just not working.  Sigh.  

And my little boy went from being afraid of the water to doing this:

Now I will tell you, in order for me to take that picture it cost us:
  • All of last summer, just to get one foot into the water.
  • Three solid months of swimming lessons this year.
  • One good puke per day, either in the pool or out, depending on the proximity to the edge. 
  • About a year shaved off my life caused by putting sunscreen on everyone except myself.
  • Approximately thirty four bags of Bugles.  What can I say, I'm a hooker for a bag of Bugles.  Don't get me started on the joy a bag of Carmel Bugles can bring me.   
  • More meltdowns than I can shake a stick at.
  • Two really good sunburns, cuz you know, I look good in red.
  • And more foul language than I would care to admit.

But in the end it was worth it.  All totally worth it.  

And without this prompt I would have gone plunging ahead without taking a moment to stop and pause.  Thank you Shell.

 "Link up your Summer Fun for a chance to win prizes from Ubisoft." 


  1. Fabulous post.
    I love your stories and this one makes my heart sing.

    There is something to be said for less appointments and scheduled time for kids. I think it's so wonderful you got back to old school summers that were carefree (well for the kids not you) and let them just have fun. This will be a summer they will remember too!!!

  2. Sounds like a lot of fun, can I come spend summer with you next year?

  3. Love your summer rewind! Your post made me decide to take my daughter swimming today! :)

  4. What an amazing summer. How wonderful that your son had such a turn around. I hope that the school year can go easily for him.

    It was really so hot this summer- we were a water family, too! That one pool looks amazing!

  5. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this school year is better and that the boy you have seen blossom this summer will stick around a little longer. I know it's scary to think about all of the what if's.
    You did have one heck of a crazy awesome summer by the way.

  6. Carefree summers like this one are something special to be treasured :)

  7. I wish I could freeze time for you. :) Swimming really is so much fun for the kids- but getting ready and the whole sunscreen thing is such a necessary pain.
    Thanks for commenting on my blog today

  8. I think that I'm more jealous of your summer!! It looked amazing!!
    What a great mommy to give your kids such a fun special summer, to let them be "free"!
    Here's hoping that school goes a little more smoothly this year!!
    Good luck!

  9. Love the photos, ADORE your captions!

    I can't believe that heat!!

  10. I love holidays without schedules!! Looks like your summer was a lot of fun! :)

  11. I hope this year is better for Alex (fingers crossed). I'm so glad you all got to just relax and have fun...I think you needed as much as they did.

    And Bugles are like little crunchy bits of crack...YUM!

  12. Beautiful post!

  13. Caramel Bugles? Shut the front door!?!? Those sound awesome! Great post, wonderful pictures.

  14. @Peg--I wasn't sure how it would turn out. Now that summer's almost over I'm glad I did it. :)

    @Rebecca--I'd love it. Joey should be really running around by then!


    @Shell--I hope he stays relaxed too. And thank you.

    @John and Allie Fields--Super crazy summer and finger's crossed!

    @Looking for Blue Sky--I hope they remember it, minus all my cuss words!

    @Emmy--thanks for commenting too!

    @NotSoSilentMommy--thanks! I hope it goes better too.

    @Galit Breen--thanks!

  15. @Broot--me too, I'm bummed for school. :(

    @Flannery--crunchy crack = one happy mama!


    @adashoddomestic--like Flannery said, they're crack. YUM.

  16. What a fabulous summer you've all had! Well done on persevering on getting him into the water. Looks like he really enjoys it now.

    I think it speaks volumes that everything improved for him when the 'backpack' was put aside. Food for thought for next year it seems. maybe it could be 'reduced' in size? If you know what I mean! (Hope you don't mind me saying this?)

    xx Jazzy

  17. Wow Lizbeth. I find a lot of comfort in reading your posts, and that old familiar heartache of course. Grade 1 nearly destroyed Jack too--I never saw the kid have that many tics before, and it really freaked me out one time. I'm not trying to plug my posts, but I wrote about it here:

    All of this heartbreak will continue to give us white hairs you know.

  18. Yes! Now that sounds like a great summer. My fingers are crossed that all your "hard work" this summer pays off in a more relaxed school year.

  19. Wow. What a great opportunity to look back and enjoy. I'm also keeping my fingers crossed for your return to school. ((hugs))

  20. What a great summer.

    I always worry on how school will go for my son, too. :( He's just so sensitive and 4th grade boys are not always nice.

  21. What a wonderful summer. Thanks for rubbing it in...?

    I don't understand exactly, of course, but I know what it feels like to have daily anxiety and carry it around week after week. It broke me eventually. I wish I had suggestions, but instead I just hope Alex has a way of knowing he's not alone. xo

  22. First of all--they make caramel Bugles? MMMMMMMM!

    Second of all, we have been told that we have to have every second of every day scheduled. I think that we should defy that "wisdom"!!!

  23. It's comforting to see your little one conquer his fear of the water - makes me hopeful that my swim-resistent daughter with achieve the same goal!

  24. It sounds like summer was exactly what you all needed-and what a fun one to have!

    Love the pics--and I thought that was your pool, ha!

  25. Sounds like you made a really smart decision about summer. I think the transition to first grade is much harder than anyone prepares us for. It's so different from kindergarten. My oldest son was miserable--and it was contagious!

  26. @Jazzy--thank you sweeite. totally OK. :)

    @Karensometingorother--I'm going off to read your post.

    @Making It Work Mom--I hope so too!

    @Mom2LittleMiss--thanks, I needed those hugs today.

    @WhisperingWriter--I know, NT boys can be downright mean sometimes.

    @Marianna Annadanna--just you saying that gives me comfort. I don't know why but it does. Thank you.

    @Not Just Another Mother Blogger--Carmel Crack baby!!! I'm working on defying it every day. I know you are too!

    @Bits of Bee--I hope so too!!

    @Chelle--I totally wish that was our pool. You know except when it came time to maintain it. ;)

    @Victoria KP--It is so different! And I know what you mean....I wish I didn't but I do.

  27. I am glad your summer was so nice (except for that 120 degree part - what is up with that?) Good luck with the start of school. Hopefully it will be a *little* better this year.

  28. Fabulous post!! I can relate to the school anxieties. My son has had similar stuggles, and I also tried to focus on good old fashioned fun this summer! It's been blessed.

    I love all of your pics! It looks like a great time!

    PS. I am wondering if we're neighbors?? I'm a FL girl, and that (not) neighborhood pool looks awfully familiar...

  29. BTW, I stopped by from Shell's Summer Show Off. :)


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