Hawaii Day 17: Every Last Drop
I am a habitual procrastinator/perfectionist. I think I procrastinate because I am a perfectionist. I have compelling visions in my mind for how I want things to be, and it takes time and space and uninterrupted time to create the things that I want to create and bring to life. And with little children all at home, that time is rare, and usually happens only at night. I struggle to stay current, especially with the volume that I shoot and the low level of time our children spend in the care of anyone but us (mostly me). In this season of life, as I'm fortunate to be able to spend as much time as I do with them, I cannot imagine giving away precious hours with them to do much of anything else. I didn't feel this way in the beginning of motherhood, but as I've grown more attached to them, I've grown more attached to, and involved in, and responsible for, our family as a group. It's really important to me (and my husband) that we spend time nurturing and building our family as a whole unit, with all its unique bonds and dynamics, as well as the common things that hold us together and drive us, as a couple and as a family. I know this is going to sound weird, but I feel like with the third child I've gone from being a mama to being a mama/ship captain. There's just more to juggle, and sibling relationships jump from two (how #1 feels about #2 and vice-versa) to six (1 and 2, 1 and 3, 2 and 3, and the reverses of those). In addition, you have the challenge of meeting the needs of children multiple ages. Each one has things they want us to do with them that are appropriate to just their age, and we try to do those things but also choose activities all five of us can do. And there are new limits, as well. With a napping baby and unpredictable schedule, we pull our kids in closer to home, even though I know they are ready for things like basketball and ballet. We never really left our tightly-knit home life to get involved in activities anyway, but having another baby 3 years after the second keeps us in that holding pattern a little bit longer. We've chosen not to see it as a limitation, but an invitation to embrace our family and build a stronger identity by making the most of these days together. Those long, hot afternoons indoors when the kids don't want to go outside, and Geoff is working on the house, and Eloise is taking a nap can seem like they go on for ages. But I think back to my own childhood and how summer days used to seem like they'd last five weeks apiece, and I know they're going to be OK. I loved laying on my back on the swing, looking up at the sky and eating honeysuckle I'd find growing in the back yard, backing up to the woods. I'd suck every last drop out of those flowers.
And that's kind of how I approach life. I procrastinate, but when time is short, it makes me live like there's no tomorrow. We live harder, do more, go more, try more, act more daring, take more risks, stay up later, eat dessert first, jump in the ocean in our clothes, and fall asleep hard when the summer sun finally sets. It's kind of a wild ride sometimes, and those wilder days make for a day or more of cleaning, resting, and getting back into routine, and I know we're headed that direction, but today was a one-last-wild day. And I'm not sure I'd really want it any other way.
We went to the beach when we should have been packing to check out. We washed up quickly, packed in a hot rush, loaded everything onto the golf cart to catch our car, and then, you're right--we made more more stop.
We took every last drop. And this is what I saw.