Oh, summer! I’ve been pondering the idea of summer after having several conversations with Moms about the challenges that summer brings. And, I think it’s due to the fact that for at least 13 years of our lives (if you were a school student in America) we had summer.
Summer = a break from normalcy, extra time to do fun things, sleeping in, late nights, time with friends.
When I got my first job out of college the lack of ‘summer’ as I had known it became a harsh reality when June hit and I had to keep working. Vacation was earned, not a given, and as a newbie in the work-force, I think I had like 5 days. To take off all year. Summer? That just meant I spent time staring out of the window at work dreaming of all the things I would like to do during summer but couldn’t because I was sitting behind a computer all day.
No lazy days at the pool or extra time to read alllll the books.
As a Mom, when all your children are pre-school aged, the whole year is kind of like an endless summer. We can do whatever we want because we’re not bound to the school calendar. However, there’s also never a break, so it all just seems to run together.
Now that I have a school-aged child, we are into summer again. Granted, my children are still confused as to the definition of ‘summer’ because they are sticklers for actual changes of seasons. They don’t get how the summer ends when you go back to school, even though it’s still ‘summer’ on the calendar until September 21st-ish. It is rather confusing, I suppose.
Anyhow, I’ve been mulling over how to make summer different from the rest of the year. Both, for me and for the kids.
This week I’ll be sharing my lists with you on some different goals/ideas that I’ve come up with to help order our days during this little bit of break that we have. As with most lists it will probably evolve over time, adding different things as we think of them, but I had to start somewhere. So, I’ve broken it down into three parts:
1. Summer Fun
2. Summer Work
3. Summer Rest
Today’s list is Summer Fun.
For the Kids:
1. Tuesday at the Bay. Every Tuesday morning (after we finish at Mason’s therapy) the kids and I are going to head to the bay, which is right near our home, to play on the beach. We live 1/2 mile from the water and I’m so thankful that we can have free entertainment like this so close to home.
2. Reading Contest. Most libraries provide some sort of incentive for kids to read during the summer. One of the military bases near us has a program that we’ve joined, and I’m excited for the girls to participate. They even had a big event last week to launch the program, complete with a bounce house and cotton candy. There is a weekly gathering at the library throughout the summer, so most weeks I plan to take the kids to participate. They’re excited to read (and be read to), so this will be fun for all of us!
3. Visits with Grandparents and Cousins. We are blessed right now to be living within a few hours’ driving distance of both sets of Grandparents. So far, we’ve already spent time at both places, and at some point this summer the older girls are going to go for an extended stay by themselves. We also just had my sister and her kids here for a visit, which was so fun!
4. Craft Time. This is a struggle for me because, the mess and the creativity (I am lacking). However, my girls love making things! Isabella (my 6.5 year old) has requested to make a doll. She doesn’t know how to sew, but we’re going to do this project together, and I’m looking forward to her creativity coming out. She’s already picked out the fabric and yarn, and has a design in her head. She’s my artsy girl and I love watching this develop in her. I’ll be pulling out the paints, beads, and making a trip to the craft store to find some other crafts that they can work on independently, and with help.
*If anyone has some great craft ideas, please leave a comment! I need some help in this area!*
5. Beach Time. Tuesdays are going to be devoted to this, but I’d also love to spend time at the beach as much as possible. Each of my four children LOVE going! Two usually swim and two play in the sand, so I mostly get to sit and enjoy watching them have a good time. They want to go to the beach everyday, so I’m trying to work my schedule such at home that we can do this several times a week.
1. Tuesday at the Bay. Yes, the kids are going to have fun doing this, but my friend and I coordinated this plan for our kids to play together, but also to provide an opportunity for Moms to come together and hang out. It’s intentional play-time and relationship building.
2. Reading. I don’t normally read novels, but I’ve decided to add these to my summer reading list. And, I normally only read in the early mornings or right before bedtime. However, I’m going to use some of my afternoon breaks while the kids are napping/resting to read for fun.
3. Spontaneity. This doesn’t come easily for me, and I don’t have any specifics on how I’m going to do this. (I guess that would take away from anything being spontaneous, right?) Anyhow, I want to intentionally relax in my spirit about doing fun things as they come to mind, instead of stopping myself because I think of how much work might be involved. Naps might occasionally be missed, bedtime might be later than normal, dinner might not include vegetables–whatever it might be, I want to feel relaxed and enjoy the moments we have together.
This isn’t a long list of specific activities, so for those of you who have been waiting for my list, I’m sorry if this disappoints! But, for me, it was helpful to categorize different areas of fun that I wanted to incorporate into our summer.
What Summer Fun do you have planned? Please, share in the comments!