This summer was the first in 13 years that I worked outside the home. For 4 weeks I ran Farm Camp at my sister’s farm. Four weeks of laughing, sweating, swatting (flies–not campers!), hiking. Four weeks of shuffling my own kids here and there, and many a morning dropping them unfed and half dressed at my moms (thank god for mimis!). I am an educator at heart and love to watch kids experiencing things for the first time, and mastering things over the span of a week or two. But I won’t lie. It was hard. It was only 4 weeks, but that was enough for me to develop an appreciation for the patience and determination it takes for parents (mothers especially) to work a 40 +hour work week. I felt constantly pulled between my focus at camp and what those kids needed from me, and what my own kids needed and wanted during that time. The days between camps were spent playing catch-up with house work, social and community obligations, and my marathon training schedule. I know some people live these challenges every day, and it must seem naive of me to be realizing it now. But for me it was a new experience. And while I do love teaching and guiding children, and I do love working on the farm, I have to say I am immensely grateful that our family has chosen the homeschooling path it has. I love being able to focus, nearly full time, on our home, our gardens and animals, and our kids’ learning.
I will run farm camp again next summer (with a few changes so my days are quite so strained). But in the weeks since camp ended I’ve been soaking up the last of this unbelievably hot summer. We squeezed in two long camping trips with friends, a weekend away for Rob and I racing in Bar Harbor, and a few hot afternoons at the lake.
And so, onto Autumn. With our annual toss of a stone over the cliffs of Mt. Batty we heaved a collective sigh of regret for not enough days spent at the lake, not enough hikes, not enough time in the garden (for sure), but also with a nod to a knowledge that Autumn really is the best kept secret in Maine anyway.