Summer: a tale of goals achieved and goals failed

The summer has staggered to a sweaty, tear-stained end. Good-bye to popsicles, lightning bugs, and the pool.  Hello to homework, early waking, and school supplies.

Let’s examine my summer through the lens of goals—those that were achieved and those that were…not.

Summer 2017 Goals, A Retrospective

√ Upping our selfie game.  Nailed it.


√ Beginning every day with a review of math facts and sight words. Succeeded through mid-July. Somebody pat me on the back—five weeks ain’t nothin’ to sniff at!

X Doing planks and push-ups while children do their math. Bless my delusional heart.

X Keeping our “indoor cat” actually indoors. This was perhaps the worst failure of the summer. Against vet’s orders to rest a torn ligament, Pippin escaped three times each day at minimum.


Keeping the kids’ screen use to one hour per day. Amazingly, shockingly, we actually succeeded at this. And imagine how fun it was when my twins decided to chop their sixty minutes into 14 separate increments, each one concluded by the kitchen timer beeping.

Following our “creative instincts.”


√ Feeding all the plants and pets on our block while our neighbors hit the road to join the “path of totality.” Oh sure, we’ll just sit tight here in the path of partiality and monitor the frogs, felines, phlox, asters, and coneflowers.

√ Completing our deck, begun 15 months ago.

√ Using newly finished deck for questionable “shows” and public displays.


 Moving our oldest into her own room. I had to sacrifice my office, but the need for a private space for our new middle-schooler became evident as her sisters displayed high levels of nosiness gawking a troubling lack of boundaries curiosity.

 Indulging our love of smaller creatures.


√ Forcing our kids to hike. We succeeded…twice. And the second time, my friend and I managed to lose the children.  They ran ahead on an unspecified trail and could not hear our calls. She began to panic, but I, being the stone cold reckless foolishly unconcerned cool cucumber that I am, kept it together.

 Making liberal use of the library. We nailed it like a carpenter. In fact, last week when we went to pick up the books my daughters had reserved online, I discovered they had requested over 80 books! Our stack took up two reserve shelves. Take that, Goerkles!


√ Relishing summer in the midwest.



© Laura Goetsch and Thinking about Such Things, 2017

4 thoughts on “Summer: a tale of goals achieved and goals failed

  1. Annie

    Since when did Pippen become an outdoor cat? Was it the time I lost her for 4 days & he got his taste of freedom? Adorable pic by the raised garden, by the way!

    I love your mention of a troubling lack of boundaries for younger siblings. Though J is endlessly annoyed by his little brother, he specifically CHOSE to abandon his own room & share with his brother, which has opened up the door to little bro purposely crossing boundaries & arguing, “well, you’re in MY room.”

    Looks like it was a beautiful summer for all of you. Love the deck! Facebook recently reminded me of our mommies road trip to Chicago. We need another group road trip!


    1. Thanks for commenting, Annie! Yes, clearly, Pippin’s wayward ways all come back to your negligent parenting! 😉
      The Chicago road trip seems like a million years ago now, doesn’t it?
      I assume you’re still nailing it at NPR. I’m proud to know you!


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