A Constructed Life


Summer was the best, wasn’t it? It’s the flowers-everywhere, grass-underfoot, warm-breezes, no-coats, kids-on-the-looseness of it all that I relish. It means no more early wake-ups, no packed lunches (unless it’s a picnic), relaxed mornings, bedtime comes when fun is done and a general sense of freedom.

This summer’s strategy was to ditch organized activities in favor of doing all the fun things. It started horrendously, as my school-aged child went from a rigorously scheduled day filled with routine, teachers and friends to “Let’s be free and loose and float in the breezes of summer’s good times.” The first two weeks involved Addy and Crosby hating each other, hating me and then hating everything in the world. So I started making plans, and it turned into an epic 8 weeks of happiness (with the occasional hatred returning from over tiredness and too much fun having).

The best part of summer lives at our family cabin in northern Wisconsin. I love it there when the tiny house is bursting with family and it’s hard to find space to sleep…



…and I love it there when I get brave and venture up just me and the kiddos and realize that not only can I handle it there by myself, the kids and I can have a blast.



Yes, I took them to bar. We were there for the food. And I needed a drink.


See that little sliver of space  next to Addy? That’s where I got to sleep when the kiddos felt too scared in their own beds.



Their first trip to one of my favorite childhood spots – the drive in, complete with 3 feet of cherry licorice.


We did so much, and it was the compilation of all the little adventures (and a few biggies) that made it so special.


Went “hiking,” which involved me getting us lost in the woods and giving the kids piggy back rides for the last mile. A man and his son with down syndrome helped us find our way out. I melted when the boy, out of the blue, turned to me and said, “You’re a really good mom.” But I did have a 6-year-old on my back, so that probably helped.



Discovered a beautiful beach on a crappy day. 


And another one with mysteriously blue water (it was a man-made lagoon. I was assured it was safe for swimming).


Learned that bikes take you places faster than feet.


Found secret hideouts beneath gigantic trees.


The summer was great and loaded with family and friends. I’m bummed that it’s over and our lives are now dictated by an early-to-bed routine, so we can get up early for school, then cram in some fun, homework and eating before starting it all over the next day.

But then summer comes again. And my kiddos are mine again. And there are more adventures, more discoveries and so many more memories to make. For as long as they will let me, I will run along with them, delighting in the magic they make.


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2 thoughts on “Summertimin’

  1. Jinny

    The cottage is a great place and I miss it myself so much. I haven’t been up there since joe died which is very sad because it really is a place that we so loved to go. I hope next summer I can get up there and enjoy it again. It will bring back so many happy memories that we had up there together. Maybe you’ll let me come up with the kids if Joey is too busy. You’re an awesome mom Liz. Enjoy the babies while you can as we both know they grow up very fast and now no snugly little babies tho the kids are still very snugly. So many more memories to come. Love you!

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