Among the effects of a loosely planned summer is the ability (imperative?) to make almost daily decisions about activities. Even when there are countless possibilities, there is always the risk that picking one means giving up another, and the fear that something along the way will be missed. And so it is that some mornings involve intense negotiations about what to do. Often, I am at a disadvantage in these negotiations, as I have been up at work all night, so have far less lawyerly skills than my kids. But negotiate we do, and somehow, each day, we come up with a plan.
When I was working days, things were somewhat less negotiable--without me around, the kids had to have somewhere to be. With me home (at least physically, if not mentally), there is a chance of home being the better option. Will there be a mommy-planned, mommy-escorted activity? And if they choose camp or a play date, will they miss out on both time with Mom and the opportunity to do something they don't usually get to do? As my kids are learning, these questions are a roll of the dice daily. They can't really know whether I will sleep through a given day. They can't really know whether a given day will be so hot that I won't want to go anywhere. So, in some ways, we make their "informed" choices with not much information at all, and we hope that they turn out well.
Perhaps it seems risky. But isn't that how we make a great many of our decisions and choices every day? We may gather information, and analyze past results, but ultimately, we all make choices that risk our missing one thing because we have chosen another, that leave us unsure if we have made the very best use of our time.
So, how do we know if we are going the right way, if we heading for the good stuff and are avoiding missing the other good stuff? We don't. We don't know for sure, when we walk out the door, what we will miss. We don't really know, when we walk out the door, what we will discover. So, each day, we just have to keep making those choices. There will be days that end with "yay," and days that end with "I should have," and lots of days in between. But in the end, what we miss just leaves room for what we find.
What are we missing? It's hard to say, so we just keep making choices. And what we miss today may be just the thing we find tomorrow...