School ends here tomorrow, and I can’t wait. I look forward to sleeping in, lazy mornings in my PJs and adventures with my boys. What adventures I don’t know. I’m just letting summer happen live this year.
Oh, we have a few things planned. A camp, a short trip, VBS and David asked to participate in the summer reading challenge at the local library. But otherwise we’re pretty wide open this summer.
Some mamas are making schedules and plans and have the summer reading lists and the day trips and the bento box lunches all mapped out. Art camp, soccer camp, French camp and underwater basket weaving camp are registered and paid for. Craft supplies are bought to make all those kid projects they pinned on Pinterest.
There’s so much pressure to have an epic summer filled with giant bubbles, sidewalk chalk murals that rival Monet, blazing bonfires and a week at an impeccably decorated 1925 cottage on The Lake. It’s in all the magazines, on all the blogs and all the TV shows.
And that’s great! I’m sure the kids will have fun and all the memory-making, glue sticks and smokey fires will bring joy for years.
But in case you’re not planning on studying The Complete Works of William Shakespeare and inviting the community to a play in your backyard, or taking a six week long road tour of the birthplaces of all our former presidents culminating with a trip to Disney World, I wan’t you to know it’s OK.
In case the thought of making anything with glitter and empty toilet paper rolls with your kids makes you feel slightly violent, I want you to know it’s OK.
In case you plan on a steady diet of grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and potato chips on the patio I want you to know it’s OK.
You can still have an epic summer.
Because summer was made for slow and easy and spur of the moment.
An impromptu trip to the ice cream shop after dinner.
Riding bikes in the driveway until the fireflies come out.
Grilled cheese for lunch because you lingered at the park too long.
Running through the sprinkler in the backyard and turning the swing set slide into a water slide with the hose.
When the kids utter those three dreaded words, “I’m bored,” it’s OK. It’s not your job to entertain them. Drive them to the library and let them pick out their own books.
Quiet the bickering between siblings by sitting them down in front of a movie and filling their mouths with popcorn.
And finally, It’s OK if a trip to the local pool is as close as they’ll get to a luxury get-a-way.
You don’t have to do it up big to make it great.
Let your kids discover and make their own fun. Say yes when they ask to go for an evening swim at the lake. Let them delight in chasing toads in the yard with the neighbor kids. Let them giggle all night with siblings in the blanket fort they built in the living room.
Freedom to imagine, time to slow down, liberty to choose your fun — it can be just as grand as eating dinner with a person dressed in a giant mouse costume.
Maybe even more so.
I’ll be in the backyard most of this summer soaking my feet in the wading pool, making S’mores over the grill, and making sure the boys don’t climb too high in the trees as I watch summer happen live. All at its own pace.
I don’t really know what will happen, but it’s going to be epic.