Today, I spent the entire day inside with my child and my husband. We played. A lot. And a lot of our playing involved *pretending* to go to the beach, the park, and the pool.
We had fun.
I've been feeling seasonal guilt for decades. I love being outside, and I think spending time outdoors is incredibly important to our mental and emotional health, and I generally think I never do enough of it. I should have gone swimming more in the summer, planted more in the spring, taken more walks in the fall, and cozied up more in the winter.
And now I'm responsible for a small person's outdoor time, too. I want her to know that there is joy and adventure and solace to be found outdoors. That can make this mama very anxious about *pretending* to go to park and the pool and the river when we could *actually* go to the park or the pool or the river.
Why am I not throwing a bag of towels and snacks in the car and soaking up the summer at every possible opportunity? What is wrong with us?! What if we're ruining our child forever?!
Today, I was able to let go of all that. Because I stopped the planning-what-we're-doing-next track in the back of my head long enough to notice that our kiddo was happy as could be. She went outside for about five minutes twice of her own accord, and that was it. And we were more relaxed than we've been in a long while.
What we really needed today was not summertime. We needed family time.
Not the kind you get when you're exploring together in the backyard, and not the kind you get when you're making new friends at the pool.
The kind you get when you decide it's okay to miss out on summer today.