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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Beautiful Summer

There are things in life that I simply am not concerned with… that if I ever aspired to, I don’t anymore. For example, I am never going to be that girl who loves to be social… go to parties, have parties, mix and mingle. It’s just not in my blood. In fact, I truly believe I am a hopeless introvert in disguise. I am also never going to be well travelled. I want to see the world, but if I have to ride on a plane to do it, it’s probably never going to happen. I will never do math. I will never play the piano any better than I do right now, and that’s really, really awful. I will never appreciate some of the classic literary writers like Whitman and Hawthorne. Or Melville. (I really hated Moby Dick.) I will never know what it feels like to be daddy’s little girl. I’ll probably always have an excess of self-doubt. And I seriously doubt that I will ever become the girl version of Indiana Jones (what I always wanted to be when I grew up). Those are things I just am… or am not. And I’m ok with that.

But the purpose I aspire to that cannot be lost is to be a good mother to my children. The thought of failing at that role is enough to bring me to my knees. I believe it’s at the end of things that we tend to reflect on what we’ve done right and what we’ve done wrong. As this summer is coming to end, I hope my children can look back on it and have only wonderful memories of the places we went, things we did, time we spent together doing absolutely nothing. I so want them to be happy and know how loved and adored they are. I want to do right by them in every way. I know to some, those aspirations seem miniscule and limiting. I don’t get up everyday and leave the house to go to a high-paying job. And most of the time, the only way I put my education to work is correcting the girls when they say “go-ed” instead of “went” or “eat-ed” instead of “ate.” But it’s not limiting to me. To me, it's everything. A few weeks ago an old friend from grad school sent me a message on Facebook. Part of it said, "I never thought you'd just be a mom. I thought you'd have it all." My message back to him simply said, "I do."

So, in case I forget, maybe my children can look here someday and remember the summer of 2009. And though the Slaughter sisters fought a lot. And Jeb fussed a lot. And there were a lot of time-outs. And frustrations. It was a beautiful summer. I wouldn’t change a second of it.

We had our first family pictures taken with the Jebster.

We baked a lot.

And made lots of home made ice cream!

We spent a week at the beach.

We watched fireworks on the 4th of July.

We went to the lake. E Dru learned to ski.

So did Belle.

Matt and Jeb just looked cool.

We were in the Jeep. A lot.

The girls went to art camp.

The kids hung out in their favorite laundry basket.

We spent a lot of time in Russellville with Pawpaw when he needed us.

We fished at Pawpaw's and caught tons of these whoppers.

We played in the sprinkler in the front yard.

More sprinkler.

We celebrated a special girl's 5th birthday.

We swam!

Well, some of us just hung out on the steps.

Most of all, we loved and laughed. What can be better than that?

What strikes me the most looking back over these pictures is that I am the one behind the camera. I am the one that got to see it all happen. Every moment. Every smile. All of it. I have said it before, but I will say it again... I am truly undeserving of this life He has given.

10 comments:

Kathy said...

Beautiful post! And a wonderful reminder to revel in the simplicity of a summer day. No mother can give a greater gift to her children. You are a gifted writer and mother!

Cindy said...

Yay! A mom who LOVES being a mom. Thank you for this very insightful post. Now that my children are grown I am lost is searching for something - maybe I just need to figure out how to be the best me I can be and find contentment in that:)

So glad you had a fabulous summer.

Joann said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. Being a mom to my three kids has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I hope my kids can look back to their childhood and recall wonderful memories. I don't think there is any job more special or rewarding than being a mom. Bless you Angela, for helping us mom's whose kids are grown now, to remember those days.

Josh and Kate said...

You have written many great post in the past....but this may be my favorite! You are a great writer. You have such a precious family. I can't believe summer is already over. =(

Boni said...

Angela! You are an AMAZING mother. I seriously think getting up and going to work every day is easier than what you do. I have been home with three kids for three weeks and am running SO short on things to do...

Ben and Kristen said...

Beautiful!

Superchikk said...

Love it. And I feel the exact same way.

Marti said...

..and I will say it again, "YOU ARE MY HERO!" I love you!

Leanne said...

I loved this, Angela! You are an inspiration to me!

Nel said...

Angela, That was beautiful! It definitely brought tears to my eyes. I think you hit what every mom wants to accomplish... just to be the best they can be. I had to work when Jan was little but every other moment was with her... and they do remember it as they grow up! You are a wonderful mom and truly blessed!