It’s been a summer

School starts today. Yesterday, I took my boys for one last “hoorah” to our favorite little theme park, amid a million other little errands. I got them a frozen treat (a blue slushy is for one, strawberry ice cream cone for the other).

I asked, “So what was the highlight of your summer?” And in very quick succession I heard: “Going to Mamy and Papy’s, having Aunt Poppy visit and having Popeye and Grandma Daisy visit.”

Yes, this was the best possible cluster of answers, I know. My little heart shivered from the sweetness, which was even sweeter than a blue slushy.

Then they asked me the same question.

I overthought my answer, sure, but that’s my job in this family.

The highlight of my summer was a five minute window just when we arrived at a little mountain inn we had booked to stay at when we went to a little amusement park about 2 hours away. There was a big old dog named Lucky who welcomed us.

We checked in. We headed up to our room, and noticed a library. The boys were bouncing off the walls, as they are wont to do. After we got settled in our room, I said, somewhat desperate to calm them down, “let’s go see if there are any kids’ books.”

We got to the library, and that’s about when my favorite five minutes started. In the library was a basket of toys. Really, really cool toys. Like, the kind with batteries and buttons. And they all worked.

My boys were….how can I say this? So happy. Everything one pulled out of the basket of toys had them calling to his brother, “Look at this!” Like…like they were at a toy store where they could play with everything on the shelf.

And that’s also when one of them found a lightsaber. And found one also for his brother.

Right then…in that moment of both of my boys radiating with the unexpected delight of holding their lightsabers in hand…that is the highlight of my summer.

The highlight of my summer was having my expectations surpassed. The highlight of my summer was that for once in my life, the reality of things was better than I could ever have hoped for.

It was a summer.

The podcast is today! Give it a listen.

Episode 32: Environment and Ecology Sing With Your Feet

Talking Points: “Not on my Green Parenting Bingo Card,” LiElla is back!; Geeking out and going out green. Episode 32 is part of our series on the Ideal Life Categories, this week's theme being "Environment and Ecology." The series began back in Episode 15: The One About Our Bodies, in case you want to get caught up! Links: Learn more about LiElla Kelly, Death Doula, on her website and blog, Leaving Well…The Blog. or on Instagram: or Facebook You can contact Lily by email:, or find her other work here:
  1. Episode 32: Environment and Ecology
  2. Episode 31: Mental Health
  3. Episode 30: Contentment
  4. Episode 29: Commitments
  5. Episode 28: Lucidly Ever After

Published by Lily Fields

I am passionate about contentment. This is a challenge, because I am equally passionate about progress. I get up at 4:00AM to chip away at a solution to this monolithic problem: how to make progress on my contentment. Born and raised in the USA, I married a French philosophy teacher in 1999. We have lived in France since 2007. We stayed young and carefree until life threw us two curveballs in the form of little humans one after another in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Now I am a slightly older, slightly more exhausted version of myself, but with mystery stains on my walls and a never-ending pile of laundry.

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