Wednesday, June 12, 2024

all summer

Like an obstinate teenager being forced to do something, I am making myself write. It's my way of organizing my brain closet. Looking through what's in there, keeping the gems, discovering things taking up space that I had completely forgotten about, and throwing out what no longer serves me. 

That pile is often pretty big. Why do we hold on to those kinds of things? Sometimes we have to get rid of those things in order to make room for the good stuff. What do you need to throw away?

So forgive if this post doesn't follow a nice little sequential path. Do our inner most thoughts- our own brain closets ever really? 

For the month of June, both boys are attending whats called ESY (Extended School Year) in Special Education Land. It's kind of a fancy term for Summer School. According to the Missouri Department of Education, Local school districts are required to consider the need for Extended School Year Services (ESY) for each student with a disability. ESY may be necessary to provide a particular student a free appropriate public education- which is Federal Law. 

This is the first year they've actually attended ESY. It's easy for my boys to lose skills that had previously been learned or "mastered" if they are not exposed to them, so I'm already gathering some materials to work with them once Summer school is over. I'm not going to lie, the four hours they are gone in the morning are an absolute chocolate covered godsend, and I'm trying not to fret thinking about what I'm going to do to stay sane once June is over. 

I remember when I first moved to Los Angeles in 1999. I left my job in St. Louis in Entertainment Marketing and was looking for employment in California. I had money to tide me over and a boyfriend who insisted on paying for everything- in fact- he told me I didn't even need to get a job- but I was sick to my stomach over wanting to be settled instantly. I was also fiercely independent, so I didn't want a man taking care of me anyway. I lived in Brentwood - an affluent Westside neighborhood- bookeded by the Pacific Palisades and Bel-Air. 

Palm trees lined the streets, and you could walk everywhere. It was a slice of heaven, yet I longed for stability, routine and consistency in my life. Malls and coffee shops were filled during the day with actor/waiters and people who just seemed to hemorrhage money. WHY ISN'T EVERYONE AT WORK? This 9-5 gal wondered. 

A job in marketing came with time- (maybe three weeks total). But the part that made me regretful, was the fact that I didn't enjoy that free time at all. The days spent exercising and shopping and walking up to The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf at my leisure. The only thing that can truly hold someone prisoner - is your own mind. It doesn't have to be a place, proven by the fact that I was in one of the most gorgeous cities in the world, but still in prison.

I reminded myself of that today when I worried, "What am I going to do with the boys all Summer?!" I've spent too much time holding onto that exact thought. I make sure we leave the house, preferably doing something where we move our bodies at least once a day. Their childhood is already so different from other kids their age. They don't play sports. They can't go and ride bikes with friends, or hit up 7-11 for treats. They can't be at the community pool unsupervised. And especially for Parker that literally means my eyes have to be on him at all times. The boys don't have safety awareness.

But this is our life. My life. The one meant for me. The one meant for my boys, so sadness or regret over what isn't, although- understandable- doesn't serve any of us.  I guess one of my goals is that they don't feel like they are missing out on a beautiful childhood. 

But if I spend this time worrying about, "What am I going to do all Summer?" it's not possible to truly enjoy this time with them. What am I afraid of? Boredom? Exhaustion? Parker lighting the house on fire?  Greyson spending 8 hours glued to the television if we don't do anything? Yes, maybe all those things. But I can get so caught up in worrying about forever, that I forget to enjoy today. That is no longer serving me, and I need to throw it out. 

Today's outing took us to one of my favorites, The Magic House. While we were there creating, I saw this quote, and had to take a picture. 

"It doesn't matter what you make, it's the process of making that matters." Dale Dougherty 

I kind of paraphrased it for our Summer: "It doesn't matter what we do, it's the process of doing that matters." Besides, there's no such thing as forever, all any of us has is today. And guess what- today we can absolutely do. 

Brentwood Park

And we are already doing it- Summering. We've had fun. Sure, sometimes it's hard and hot and sweaty, but the process of doing is what matters. I mean- ask Nike- JUST DO IT.

Kirkwood Aquatic Center

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So what if we have a day or three of non stop television and Parker lighting our kitchen on fire? HA! I don't know what we are going to do all Summer, because that doesn't even exist. We've got today, and today is just fine.

So much Love,



  1. Great post. Such a fun summer. Since you have a lot of followers, I just wanted to comment on the statement that a student's regression/recoupment rate "is recognized across the nation as the standard in determining whether or not to provide ESY." I encourage you to check out Wrightslaw about this, because if people rely on the opinion that regression/recoupment is the standard, then kids may miss out on the opportunity. There are seven standards, not one, and one of the standards is that no single criterion can be used as the qualifying factor. Best wishes for a great summer.

    1. Great information- I appreciate you sharing. I took it out of the post.

    2. Thank you for making that change.