I remember hearing women talk of “nesting” in the weeks and days right before their children were to be born.  Madly cleaning and organizing the house from top to bottom.  While I reveled in this nesting process pretty much from the moment I found out I was pregnant, I think I’ve always been a nester at heart, with or without expecting a child.  I simply love organizing and arranging my environment in a way that works for me and my family.  Aesthetically, spiritually, and functionally.  And, when I encounter transitions and change, my nesting instincts tend to kick-in at a frenzied pace.

Take last week, for instance.  Just two weeks before my boy and girl will be home from school for the summer months.  I felt an urgent need to install those extra towel bars in our bathrooms (I’ve only had them sitting in the corner of our bedroom for, well, almost a year!), clean-out the guest room closet, donate 5 bags of “stuff” to the Goodwill, take a bulging bag of books to the used bookstore, rearrange the art supplies in the dining room, purchase shelves for the garage, organize the crates of outdoor toys and supplies scattered across the garage floor and  stock-up on supplies for summer projects.  I was driven.

I am quite aware of this pattern of mine. A woman on a mission to check-off the remnants of her to-do list, squeezing-out every minute of “me-time” before the last day of school.  Perhaps this is my way of trying to feel in control.  Or, perhaps, I am clearing the way for summer, both physically and emotionally?  I expect each of these hypothesis hold some truth.

Whatever the reasons may be, this week, I am trying my best to slow-down before summer “officially” starts. At our house, summers laced with autism and ADHD can be tiresome.  This is just a reality for our family.  At the same time, when I am able to put my agenda aside and simply “be” with my children, I create more room for joy and less stress.  Joy in climbing trees.  Splashing in the waves and in the neighborhood pool.  Reading books.  Playing games.  Creating art.  Riding Bikes.  Joy in spending time together.

Will I lose my patience when my brain cannot take-in one more moment of compulsive talking?  Probably.  I expect that some days will look pretty messy.  At the end of the summer, though, if I can recount more days of joy than despair, I  consider myself a blessed woman.

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