Last spring, we were in Duluth, Minnesota for a hockey tournament. A family of five all crammed into one hotel room. One very happy child because he is getting to play the game he loves, one moderately happy because he gets to watch the game he loves, and one not so happy child though the hotel’s indoor water park does help assuage his annoyance at being dragged along. All was going well that particular weekend. The team was playing well. We were having fun with the new hockey families, sharing stories over patio lunches and while waiting for the games to begin.
I was going to write about the time our car was broken into in Duluth. Though really they didn’t break in so much as open the unlocked door and then take everything out of the glove boxes, backpacks, etc., looking for anything of value. When we got in the car the next morning, at first I thought the kids had just made a mess looking for something. It took my mind a minute to process that someone had been in our car, going through all of our stuff, and then just dropping the unwanted junk (most of it). Thankfully we had most of our valuables with us. I think they took a couple of gas gift cards and an old, old iPhone that was being used by the kids as an iPod for games.
That was the story I was going to tell, before my twelve year old walked in needing me. At first he just wanted my laptop, then he needed my help figuring out a forgotten password, and that led me down the rabbit hole that included calling my husband since he originally set up the account. Not reaching him we started a new account with my son’s email address but when we went to check for the registration email, discovered that his email was not set up on the new to him smart phone that we have given him to use. Not that he wanted a phone. He isn’t really interested in texting with his friends or going on social media. He’s weird like that.
So while this blog started as story of stolen things, it quickly turned into a moment stolen. Focus lost. Distraction making me want to close up this file and move on to solving my son’s problem. And it won’t be the only problem today. It is summer which means it will be difficult to maintain focus. But it will also be a time of those stolen moments that make summer wonderful. Evenings spent at the ball park watching the kids play baseball with the farm fields behind them. Afternoons engrossed in a good book, getting lost in a far away world. Trips to the ice cream shop and bike rides that always end with a treat.
I want to enjoy those stolen moments.
I want to laugh more this summer. Laugh about the time our car was trashed in Duluth and about my twelve year old being the only kid in America that has to be forced into having his own phone. Laugh at the adorable antics of third grade boys trying to imitate their favorite MLB player and at our attempts at learning to cook this summer.
So much of our lives are focused. Structured and goal oriented.
Summer is for the stolen moments.
Summer is for laughing. And breathing.
It can be disconcerting. My eleven year old said it best a few hours after school was out for the summer, "Now that school is over it doesn't feel like I have a purpose."
Eleven is a little early for an existential crisis. And for forgetting that your purpose is not only what you do. But who you are in the stolen moments.