It’s spring here in Austin, TX and it has lingered much more luxuriously than I remember it doing in years past. The cool nights and mornings continue to surprise us all and the heat has barely set in even by late afternoon. This week marks the first of the 90 degree days and we all take a deep breath in anticipation of what’s to come.

lucy hanging

photo by Leon Alesi

This time of year time seems to pick up speed a little bit as school calendars fill with all that was missed during the school year such as class trips and fund raisers and tests and end of school year celebrations. Yes, end of school year, as we recently realized there are just over 4 weeks remaining. The past couple of weeks have felt a little hectic here in our house where ordinarily we keep a thoughtful eye on keeping things relatively slow.

This past weekend however we took a collective deep breath. And we planned nothing. And we even canceled existing plans in exchange for nothingness. There were slight protests from the resident 12 year old but even she recognized the need to pull back and hang out and just be. So that’s what we did.

We ate meals together and prepped them together too. We had time for pancakes. And pedicures. And head massages in the grass. We read out loud and to ourselves. We wrote long neglected thank you notes. Cut out paper flowers for a first grade project. Picked out a potted plant for teacher appreciation week. Took walks around the neighborhood and bike rides too. Picked loquats from a neighbors tree. Found some mulberries down the street. Played tennis in the alley. And hockey in the grass. Spent two hours in the thrift store all together just because. And came home to write stories on the old typewriter we found there.

By Sunday night we felt ready to dive into this coming week which one glance at the calendar shows is equally full of spring time activities, events and obligations. Because of its nature, and its weather, and the fact that this season precedes the dog days, this time of year can tend toward the nutty. And we have discovered that if we don’t find some way to find some space in the other end of that spectrum, we crumble.  And we all get overwhelmed. And cranky. And we end up taking it out on each other.

So before it gets filled up with other obligations, we have penciled in some family time again this coming weekend. Not the entire weekend, like we did this past week. But a chunk. So if anyone asks, “are you guys free…” No is the answer. We’ve already got something scheduled.