The Greens of Summer

When my babies were little Mrs. Green told me, “You can’t put sleep in the bank.”  When I had toddlers Mrs. Green told me, “Put the oxygen mask on yourself first.”  And a few years later, when summer shifted from splashing in shallow pools and long naps on hot afternoons to swim practice and baseball and two loads of laundry a day, Mrs. Green told me, “Lower the bar.”

She didn’t mean to parent less or lazily.  She just realized that it’s better to focus on what must get finished, to be bothered less by the mess and to slow the heck down.  So, there are dishes in the sink and likely a wet swimsuit (or two) on the floor, but there is also a final green paint swatch on the wall of the dining room.  We all have our own priorities.

Books, clockwise from top, Walls, Florence de Dampierre; The Colonial Revival House, Richard Guy Wilson; A Flair for Living, Charlotte Moss; Interiors, Mary McDonald; Elements of Style, Michael Smith; Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People; Regency Redux, Emily Evans Eerdmans; Wallpaper, Carole Thibaut-Pomerantz.

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18 thoughts on “The Greens of Summer

  1. And, with adult children in my life, I can say unquestionably that our little ones benefit from watching mothers have other priorities than wet swimsuits.

  2. Great advice and can't wait to hear more about the dining room! Would love to know the titles of the design books in your photo.

  3. BRAVO on the paint selection! Curious if Mrs. Green advised you to go ahead and order those dining room stencils you told us about earlier…

  4. There will be stencils, but the trellis will be in the hall, I think.

    I've added the book titles to the post.

  5. I wish that I had had a Mrs. Green in my life when my guys were little!! Bring on the books, colors, beauty–kids (and even boys) do absorb what surrounds them. James (the oldest who hated antiques) now asks me to help with the decorating–who knew?

  6. I was a stay-at-home mom, and my son always came first. We had a wonderful time together, and still do even though he's now 22. But, paint color is high on my list! Which green are you looking at now?

  7. And my personal "Mrs. Green" told me when our daughter was a toddler, "before you know it we will be at her graduation". Life was pretty slow until middle school and then it was fast forward mode. It seemed like two weeks later that Mrs. Green and I looked at each other as the graduates walked in…

    Enjoy this time. There are no do-overs, once the sun sets the day is gone forever. Besides no one will remember the wet suits.

    Have a fabulous summer!

  8. My instant reaction is to "like" this. Perhaps less facebook for me in the chaos of this summer.

    Somehow only recently came to your blog, and I'm loving it.

    Heather

  9. Oh what we could have learned not so late as mothers, now grandmothers…such good advice that I – as Nana to 7 littles – can pass on to the youngers..

    i've been away too long from this garden of blogs…

    lylah

  10. You are just so great and funny. I really love it. I have to little boy babies and I love it when the take long summer naps. I also love the color green and think this is a lovely post.
    PS I've just painted my LR BenMoore Soft Fern with a pale pale blue ceiling. Love it.
    xoxo Allison
    Nantucket, Mass.

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