If winter is a busy time of year away from home, where school and all activities take us, summer is just as busy in and around the house, doing all those old-house and family-with-kids maintenance jobs that our homestead always seems to require. And as much as I try to spread out those jobs over the whole summer, somehow we always end up tackling them all in August, when the garden work is reduced to watering and harvesting what we sowed, tended, staked, and weeded earlier in the summer. So, here we are at the end of August this year, doing all the necessary maintenance. This year, though, I'm not alone.
Because the boys are old enough now to be of immense help, and together we're doing all these jobs so much more quickly. Rebecca, of course, insists on helping too, in her 4-year-old ways that aren't always entirely helpful.
Not that my boys always leap at the chance to use, say, a paintbrush. Often yes, and sometimes they even ask if they can help, but other times their response is more like, "Paint the ceiling? Sure! But right now I've gotta go, ciao!"
So sometimes a talk is required. A talk that hopefully takes place in a calm moment, where we discuss our values as a family, and the give and take and sharing it takes to be a family. These talks are good for each of us, I believe, because they make us all reflect on whether we individually give and take and share enough.
Then we share the painting, and get it done together so much more quickly and better. In the late afternoon, when we're finished for the day, we hop in the car and drive to the beach.
Where we cool off and watch the sun set behind the mountain.