Here we are on another Monday morning, after a full and wonderful summer weekend. One child retrieved from running camp, then dropped directly off at another camp. And a second child retrieved to settle into the rest of his summer at home. That is, until theater camp starts for him in August. Phew! Steve and I have often remarked that despite there being such a strong and wonderful community of homeschoolers in our area, and with so many great offerings all the time....there is still this surge in the summertime of the kind of intensive learning and playing that happens at camps when the focus is long and thorough. Summer intensives - whether ballet or running or horses or Quaker camp or whatever it may be - are just so conducive to that kind of intense learning. And living, of course - they are one in the same.
Meanwhile, back on the farm, as we say....I think we're all feeling that similar parallel of intensity in life and learning. SO much happens in a summer day. Once in a while, that tips towards overwhelm and long to do lists that seem impossible to complete, and we start to panic that maybe we won't get enough wood cut for this winter, and my, won't that be cold? (Yes, it would be very!) But then, the next day rolls around and the kids are more than happy to ride into the woods on the trailer of the tractor while we haul more firewood up to be cut and stacked, and before we know it, a whole morning has gone by and so much has been done. Adelaide brings Almanzo the cat and talks to him the whole time, Annabel has her racket (you never know when it might be needed - for what, I do not know) and talks, again, about her plan for her halloween costume - a Knight Princess ("a beautiful knight that shoots things!" hmn......). And Harper, well Harper certainly finds plenty of ways to keep busy in the woods. He's Papa's right hand man, that's for sure. Always nearby to lend his hatchet, or give Steve some pointers on what might be causing that tractor the trouble it's having. He's often right.
They'll break for lunch, and maybe we'll get back out there, though the kids will likely disperse into their own adventures - whatever those may be. Maybe I'll finish painting the garden shed and get that put back together, which will surely be a beacon for all to come and beg for some time to paint. It's easy to say yes out there. And at the end of the day, I hope someone suggests a jump in the lake. I'm sure the answer will be yes (I'll make sure of it).
It can be tricky sometimes, in the moments, in the days, to remember what's getting done, or to feel like anything is getting done at all. Of course it is, one day at a time, one more tractor load hauled from the woods, one more coat of paint. But it's impossible to forget the help we have in doing it. That, of course, is the great joy at the end of the day that I remember most of all. A pile of wood in the woodshed is surely satisfying (and necessary), but nothing beats the pile of tired, happy kids in the bed at the end of the day. That's the real reward of a long summer's day of work.