Friday, May 31, 2013

how to have the worst summer ever


(our 2012 summer list)

Don’t plan a thing.

Let your kids roam and wander and fill your ears with complaints of boredom.

Have no routine. Or structure. Or plan.

Let the days be filled with too much idleness. And too little purposeful fun.

Shut the door to friends and playdates and spontaneous trips to the lake, because it’s a lot of work and will most likely make a huge mess.

Don’t stock up on extra art supplies.

Don’t visit the library.

Don’t ride bikes with no destination in mind.

Don’t consult the kids about what they want to do.

Get frustrated when they bug you out of sheer boredom. Yell too much because they don’t seem to have anything to do. Let the weeks and months of summer slip by with no agenda or plans, no list of fun things to do, nothing.

If you do all these things I can promise you’ll be miserable. So will your tribe.

The way to have a bummer of a summer is to be too lax, too loose and allow the kids to run the show. Not that there is anything wrong with rest, and dare I say, a little summer laziness from time to time. But too much of a good thing can sometimes turn into a bad thing. And so it is with relaxing and chilling. If we do that all summer long we will eventually grow tired of it all. And then everyone will be on everyone’s last nerve and we’ll be dying for a change of pace.

In order to not have the worst summer ever we’ve got to make a plan. We’ve got to think of the needs and desires of our families. We’ve got to set an agenda, however loose and unstructured it is. I’m all for free play, but I’ve been a mom long enough to know that sometimes we have to pull from our secret bag of tricks when the natives get restless. And they will get restless, they always do. 

So this summer we’ll be making a plan. And of course, it will always be open for negotiation. We will sit down with a calendar and schedule a few things to keep us busy and learning and enjoying the fun that summer can provide. 

But first, we will chill for a bit. The kids will officially be done with school on June 5th. And then I am anticipating the next day to be filled with the wild abandon of free play. And I expect much the same the day after. And possibly that entire next week. But after that? Game on.

In order to make this the epic summer I hope it to be we will sit down with a calendar and schedule a few things out:

  • a week (or two, or three) with the grandparents
  • cooking camp
  • handwriting camp
  • American history camp
  • writer’s workshops
  • art days
  • lake trips
  • bike rides
  • camping adventures
  • visits to the local pools

And before you bemoan the fact that your community has nothing fun like cooking camps available I’ll let you know that mine doesn’t either. We’re making our own fun this year. 

My kids want to cook and I want my kids to cook. And I want them to enjoy being in the kitchen. However, it’s usually too much at the end of a school day to take the time to be instructive with meals. So we’re going to spend an entire week learning to cook special things. And then we’ll move on to baking. I know it will be messy and messy isn’t my favorite. But for those weeks I’ll let the time with my kids be the focus of the day. The messes will wait, the kids won’t.

The same thing goes for handwriting and American history. And art. And everything else. We will create our own fun. 

And will they drive me crazy sometimes? Sure, they do that know, even though they’re in school all day. So I expect that some days we will just jump on our bikes and get out. And that will be fine.

The thing is, I am constantly reminded lately that I need to be intentional in creating these moments with my kids because it won’t be too long before they’ll be out and away. Us moms have got to seize the opportunities as they come, but we must also plan and prepare to make some fun for everyone. And for this week? I have about 4 days where I can just soak up some me time. I plan on using those days for all they’re worth, and once that bell rings for the last time on Wednesday I’ll be ready. 

6 comments:

  1. I love the idea of cooking camp!! My son is only 18 months, but in a year or 2 we will definitely be doing this - and making his own recipe binder to go with it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brilliant idea! I never thought of doing a recipe binder with it-thanks for sharing that idea!

      Delete
  2. Hi Gina, I just came across your blog and love it! Way to go, planning out the summer. I used to plan things to do in the car on long road trips. Since we're missionaries we were sometimes on the road during home assignment for up to five weeks at a time. Having a plan really cut down on the bickering and boredom. Now that my kids are married, I'm waiting for grandkids and the day I can have Grandma Camp!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love grandma camp! My kids love the special weeks with their grandparents, and we really enjoy a week alone too ;) it's a win for everyone! And I'm so grateful for active, involved grandparents-what a great gift they are!

      Delete
  3. Hi Gina, I just came across your blog and love it! Way to go, planning out the summer. I used to plan things to do in the car on long road trips. Since we're missionaries we were sometimes on the road during home assignment for up to five weeks at a time. Having a plan really cut down on the bickering and boredom. Now that my kids are married, I'm waiting for grandkids and the day I can have Grandma Camp!

    ReplyDelete
  4. the great thing about making summer fun lists is that eventually they (the girls anyway) will be intentional to make their own. my girls have written theirs out for the last two years. they have already knocked a few things off this years list. I LOVE IT!

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear from you! Thanks for coming by and sharing your thoughts with me.

LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs