If the Final Jeopardy answer is ever "Summer", then you'll know the question: What is Leslie's Favorite Season? (Yep, I'm nerdy and wish I was smart enough to be on Jeopardy. Actually, I thought I was for like one second, and then the category Geography came up and those people who know all those answers....well, they have way too much time on their hands.)
Back to summer. It's soooo my favorite.
And since our school district tortures us by making us the last on the planet to get out, TODAY, yes, June 22nd, is our official FIRST DAY OF SUMMER!
And surprise, surprise. I don't have everything "ready" like I wanted it to be. (If you did, don't tell me.)
I wanted to have a clean house, cleaned out closets, laundry done, new summer decor up, "happy summer" banner hung, the Summer List written and posted, and the new, fabulous highlight - the outdoor art station - all decked out. And zero of these things were accomplished in time for today. Except I did get the supplies for the outdoor station prepped.
We organized and cleaned out ALL our art supplies (And wow, did we have a lot. All I had to buy was paper. You don't realize how much junk you have until it's all gathered up in the same space, pulled out of drawers and backpacks and pencil boxes.) I haven't yet hung the clothesline for watercolor painting drying, nor draped the fabric on the underside of the patio cover to give a little more shade. But we're getting there.
My vision for the outdoor art station is that my kids could have a little autonomy. I direct so much of their little lives, I felt it was time to let go of the reins a little. So I'm setting limits I'm okay with, which include providing watercolors for painting, crayons, markers and oil pastels. Paper, large beads and string. No scissors; I don't want tiny scraps all over the yard. Activity books, tracing paper, and a big work surface. A canvas tarp underneath. Play clothes required. Paper plates and bowls for water and mixing. Help-yourself snacks and disposable cups next to a dispenser full of one of my infused water concoctions I've been making (watermelon mint, lemon cucumber, etc).
It's really exciting, actually, to imagine that they may be able to govern themselves for small windows of time out there. It may be so great that I am able to join them, stress-free. Create together, instead of me spending all my energy wiping up, and saying, "BE CAREFUL!" I've done that for the last ten years, indoors, and I'm really glad for the chance to experiment with a new stage. I'm grateful to Jami for inspiring me; I stole her idea for the outdoor art station.
Here are a few more things I've been up to.
Not finding things in my purse because of all the Legos in it.
Falling in love with Gatsby again.
So that's how we're kicking it off over here. I'll share the Summer List when we actually make it, and more pics of the art station and the rest of our happenings next week!
Now I'm going to go do a little coloring.