This will be the third summer that I've been single parenting. The first summer went by in a blur. I went to New York which was amazing and somehow got up the courage to sell my house and buy a better one. The second summer also went by in a blur. Although we had two wonderful weeks at the cousin's place at Lake Opua, the rest of it was pretty average.
And now I am planning for the third summer. I've untangled my feelings and realised that my long standing marriage to David finally unravelled over the course of a summer, ending after we came back from our camping holiday. Isn't it weird how things that happened in the past, effect how we feel about the future? actually I suppose not weird, but anyway I'm glad I figured it out before we lost too many more summers.
So now I am reclaiming summer. I'm moving on from all the complicated feelings about the downright awkwardness of that last summer and I have started collecting up camping gear. I have washed all the things I have and worked out what I need. I have booked a site for November to try out the whole process by myself and to see if we can do it. We have down scaled all the things we need to the bare necessities. I think it will work.
I made this bright quilt. I planned it weeks ago in the depths of the winter. I plan to use this quilt every single week this summer. I want us to spread it out on the beach, under trees, on river banks and on sunny decks. I want us to lie on it reading, eat picnics on it and probably (in all honesty) wrap shivering wet children in it to go home after an outing by the water. I want to look back at all the photos of the summer and see glimpses of this quilt. And then whenever I see this quilt in the future I want to remember that I had a magical summer with the kids enjoying each other's company and the outdoors.
There are some pretty substantial flaws in this plan. The first is that our budget is too small to do any extra stuff, but on the upside the things we are thinking about are mostly free. The second is that the Resident Teen is pretty much attached to his bedroom, his PlayStation and all his home comforts and it is going to be Tricky with a capital T to get him out enjoying the outdoors. I'm not sure how to accomplish this, but I AM DETERMINED to have some family time before he flies the nest and doesn't want to spend any time with us at all.