The kids are officially on summer vacation and that means that Pinterest is blowing up with bucket lists again and my blog feed is full of ways to make the summer amazing. I’ll admit, I get sucked into the excitement of three months to jam pack my kids’ lives full of memorable summer moments to savor for a lifetime. Even though my childhood wasn’t like that at all. And yours probably wasn’t either. When I was a kid, summer just meant there was no school. We played with friends longer, spent more time in the backyard and ate popsicles. Other cool stuff happened, obviously – summer has a tendency to find fireworks and parades and family vacations. We’ll do that stuff.
But this year I’m taking a break from bucket lists for two reasons:
- Our summer calendar already looks insane just with LIFE STUFF. Family visiting us, us visiting family, camping, weddings and friends about to give birth, a couple of swim lessons thrown in for good measure. My friends and I have been lamenting about how ridiculous our weekends are already shaping up to be this summer – but many of my weekdays are still relatively calm. Why would I ruin those calm breaks in the storm of summer fun stuff that I know we’re going to need? I know myself and if I don’t give myself a healthy smattering of do nothing days, I get cranky. And cranky summer moms are no fun.
- Just for the sake of gauging the kid’s expectations, I had them make a list of five things they want to do this summer (each). A few minutes later they came back with their lists – my son (10 years old) wants to have a lemonade stand apparently, play fetch with the dog, play video games with his dad, hang out with his best friend and ride scooters. My daughter (nearly 7) wants to play princesses with me, play Minecraft with anyone who will join her, go for a walk, play Little Big Planet (another family favorite video game) and go to church at least once. Um, guys, how precious and simple and perfect are these lists? The most extravagant plans they have in mind are a lemonade stand and the glorious idea that we might let them play ALL the video games.
They’ve worked hard all school year and done all the things. If what they want this summer is to relax, chill and enjoy the much earned downtime they have coming to them: I don’t want to take that away from them. We’ll find our memories as they come to us – whether it’s a picture perfect firefly catching night in the backyard, a five hour marathon on the playstation or a competition to see who can take the longest nap – it’s going to be a great summer. And my goal is simply to try not to organize it to death.