It’s been a little over two months since the store closed.  Two months of agenda free days.  Two months of sunscreen and swimsuits.  Of a laissez-faire lifestyle.

Somewhere in June I turned off all notifications on my cell phone.  The constant chirping and dinging was driving me nuts.  My life is no longer ruled by emails.  I no longer have vendors or employees that contact me hourly with ‘must answer now’ questions.  Suddenly the only person that text me is my cousin and my husband.  It took me awhile to adjust to a silent, dark phone.  I kept wondering why no one was emailing or talking on Facebook.  After hitting an app I’d realize that the internet world was alive and well, 20-some facebook notifications and piles of emails.  I just simply wasn’t being inundated with them all day.  I had built up a wall between myself and the wireless world.  A peaceful wall.  I forget about my phone often now, it’s chirping gone silent-I use it mainly as a camera that has the special ability to text daddy and tell him to bring home more milk.

I resigned from a few community organizations.  I’m basically ‘Leaning Out’ as far as I can go.  I spent over a week of the summer playing with legos for 8 straight hours every day.  And I even shared a little with the kids.  We’ve painted, we’ve hiked, I’ve seen more of the Bay Area in the past two months than I have in my past 10 years of living here.  I’ve read a stack of books and we’ve worked our way through most of our children’s books for the 30th time as well.

When the store closed I joked and called it an early retirement.  But it was really a reprieve.  We were granted some time to soak up our days together.  To hold sticky, chubby toddler hands while we walked slowly, instead of rushing through the world-late from one appointment to another.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved and cherish our days at the store.  I loved how the kids turned the displays into imaginary worlds.  But, it was not an easy life and I don’t miss the stress of the juggle.  I don’t miss laying awake at night trying to figure out how to fit it all in.  I sleep soundly now.

Life isn’t without stresses.  My house is often filled with 5-6 children.  Children that are usually dressed up in some form of Batman, lions, or knights (or a combo of all three) and they run through the house ‘saving the world’.  Legos are EVERYWHERE.  I find toys in every nook and cranny.  But it’s a good stress.  It’s a stress that comes with growing children, noise that equals glee and creates memories.  My phone is silent, but my life is loud.

Schools are starting back up and this is probably one of the last true weeks of summer.  We are going to go to the pool today, and will eat ice cream cones until our cheeks are sticky.  This is the last time that August doesn’t mean Back To School for this family.  Where Fall merely means cooler weather is coming.  Next year we will be standing in line buying school supplies and attending Back To School events.  Our lives will become busy again and we will have schedules to keep.  Til then we are going to play with Legos and build car ramps.  I’m going to concentrate only on the little faces in front of me, and I’m going to Thank God everyday that I have the luxury to do so.