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To be honest, the upcoming summer has brought me a little anxiety. I usually love the long, lazy days with nowhere to be unless we feel like it, but this year I’ve been feeling some pressure to “make it epic”.

We aren’t traveling this year or sending the kids to any camps, we aren’t really doing anything monumental except (hopefully) sleeping in. I’ll take them to the beach, and we will eat popsicles like it’s our job, but there will also be days when I work with my headphones on and I’ll need them to play on their own.

We are going to have a very mellow summer, and for some reason that wasn’t feeling like enough.

Yesterday, I took my daughter on a date to eat egg rolls, because we know how to party. We started talking about the summer, and I asked her what she was hoping to do. Her eyes lit up, and I braced myself.

“Well…”

“I’d love to eat more corndogs, hamburgers, and hotdogs!” she said excitedly, “I really love those.”

I typed quickly as she rattled out the rest of her dreams:

“Get my ears pierced.

Build more with legos.

Take a bike ride.

Play with our dog A LOT.

Go to the beach. (We live close, so this is easy.)

Watch Lightening McQueen.

Hangout with Ella and Clover (her friends).

Go to the mall.”

You guys, I breathed such a giant sigh of relief. I think her list is exactly the same as my list.

I’m sure my kids would love to do something extraordinary this summer (who wouldn’t?) and I dread the words “I’m bored” like nails on a chalkboard, but also, there’s beauty in the ordinary. Sometimes the long, slow days are just as precious as the fast ones, and it turns out my kids’ expectations are not nearly as high as I thought.

It turns out that pressure I was feeling was mine, not theirs.

So we are planning to ride bikes, get dirty, catch tadpoles, eat ice-cream, and swim until our fingers are pruney. I’m also planning to say a lot of, “If you’re bored I have a list of extra chores on the fridge” and “If you’re whining about going to the beach, maybe we should all take naps instead.” I’m planning for them to annoy each other (and me) endlessly.

I’m planning to call emergency happy hours with friends on the back porch.

We are having a boring summer at our house, and suddenly that sounds just right.

This article originally appeared on Wonderoak

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Jessica Johnston

Jessica Johnston is a writer and mom of four kids. She is an avid coffee drinker, risk taker, and TMI sharer. She is a firm believer in keeping it real and believes our imperfections bring us together. She writes at https://wonderoak.com/. You can follow her there, on Facebook, and on Instagram.

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