Summer Fun: Then and Now

Part of the joy of being a mom is doing the fun summer things with my own kids that I remember doing as a child. When I grew up in Central Illinois, wading and canoeing in the creek was so much fun! My kids experienced wading in a creek during our vacation in Cook Forest, PA. The girls tried to catch tadpoles (key word: tried) and watched water bugs skate along the surface of the water.

Emmy wading in the “crick” with Daddy.

As a kid, we went on vacation every summer with my Dad’s family on one of the Great Lakes. We rented some cabins for years on the shore of Lake Huron, and then we switched to a huge house on Lake Michigan. That vacation is still going strong every year. I love seeing my kids swim with my cousins’ kids.

Lily (middle) swims in Lake Michigan with two of my cousin’s kids.
Emmy’s feet in the sand

Rock climbing

Then there is something my parents never would have let us do during the summer–go to a carnival. Mom didn’t trust the rides, and Dad didn’t know why anyone would ride them in the first place!

Emmy flying high

Lily concentrating on turning that teacup
What fun things are you doing this summer?

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The Sandwich Generation

When I picked up the phone, I was going to say I was too busy to come. I had things to do at home; the dishwasher needed to be emptied and filled again, the laundry needed to be folded, paperwork needed to be done. But when she said, “Come on over! Some of the other moms just got here and I just put the sandwiches in the oven!” I couldn’t say no. Instead, I told her that Emmy and I would be right over.

I know this group of moms enough to say hi to; enough to talk about the newest grocery store in town and how it’s saving us money; enough to talk about the ballet recital our daughters are in together. All this talk takes place in passing, as we’re picking up our children from school or as we run into each other while shopping.

Sitting down to lunch with these women gave us time to share more about each other. We talked about our stubborn kids, sleepovers, and school. We talked about our parents, about how they were getting older. One’s mother-in-law was in a wheelchair after a stroke. Another one’s father is dealing with dementia and Parkinson’s. We talked about how we truly are the sandwich generation. We are taking care of our parents while also taking care of our young children.

These women go about their daily lives, taking their children to school and washing a load of laundry and taking their daughters to ballet lessons and going grocery shopping and preparing dinner. And in between all that, they take care of their parents who need them.

These women are inspirational. That simple lunch showed me the bigger picture.

Simple BPM

Technically, I’m not a part of this sandwich generation. I really admire those women who are. Dad was Mom’s caregiver until she died. He’s very healthy, and I hope he stays that way for many more years. In a way, however, I hope that I am taking care of him through my love and support of all that he does.

I’m continuing my posts for Women’s History Month by writing about inspirational women. For more simple moments that show the bigger picture, visit Alita today.

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