August 1st has hit, so obviously everyone is ready to embrace the “Back to School” mentality force fed to us by the media. Right? RIGHT?!? Ok if you are like me its a resounding NO! There is an all out assault against the slow days of summer, expecting us to snap to and begin preparing for the start of school. The beginning of the hamster wheel marathon that does not end until Christmas is over. We go from first day of school (with its endless list of labeled supplies required to be present on the first day), slide right into fall festivals and activities, round the base at Halloween (which has become a production itself with pumpkin carving contests, cakewalks and parties on the Saturday before AND AFTER!?!?!) we come sweating and huffing into Thanksgiving which is usually a traveling holiday, then we slide into Christmas, arms full of packages we spent way too long wrapping. Pepper the holiday season with TWO kids in competitive sports and one little guy still enjoying jamboree soccer Saturdays, and it can seem exhausting. IT IS EXHAUSTING. In all the best and most worthwhile ways. I love it and live for it and thrive during that season of busy, ahem, maybe chaos describes it better.
I have learned that I LOVE the scheduled life of practices and games and excursions and trying new treats and exploring incredible views, graffiti alleys and works of art alike. I feel alive when we have plans and we meet deadlines and meals are prepped and laundry is caught up. The wheel is good to me.
But, you know what?
So is jumping off to hunker down and celebrate holiday seasons and summer vacation, watch too much TV and stay in our pjs until 3pm. I can be either 100 mph or 3 mph, with no real in between. For me, it works…and works well. So I am determined to juice every last drop of this beautiful slow season of summer, and if you are like me, I hope you can glean a thing or two from my list.
- Movie Marathon: Ditch the mom guilt and settle in for a trilogy. Our favorites? Back to the Future, Rocky (octology??), Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Toy Story
- Bonfire: Sit back and enjoy the smell, the sight and the good conversation that always happens around a campfire.
- Local Library Visit: If you have little ones, check out local library story times or activities. If not, go grab a comfortable chair and a stack of books and spend a few hours reading to your kids or on your own while they get immersed in their own books.
- Sunrise Viewing: Wake up early enough to witness the beauty of a sunrise. The early morning with lengthen the day, and breakfast will involve the whole family instead of just mama up cooking for sleeping babes.
- Swimming at a local pool: If you do not have a pool of your own, find a local community pool and attend open swim. Usually cost is minimal and it makes for a fun nostalgic day.
- Candy Store Visit: Your kids eyes will light up as they peruse the aisles of the local Rocket Fizz candy and make their selection.
- Board Game Bonanza: Have each family member pick a board game that everyone will play. Make fun snacks like Muddy Buddies or homemade chex party mix and enjoy the old fashioned entertainment.
- Road Trip: It doesn’t have to be far, but the simplicity of watching landscape roll by and a good audiobook can do wonders for the family. Grab a night at a hotel in a beautiful location and enjoy the experience of being away and breathing in life.
- Spend a day in the kitchen: Baking treats for neighbors, making dinner for a friend, even make ahead treats to keep in the freezer. Get messy and use it as a learning experience for your kids. They will need to be able to cook and bake one day, why not now?
- Park Picnic: Pack up lunch in cute containers and don’t forget the fancy bubbly cider and special treats. Use the cloth napkins, whenever else will you? Also bring books, art supplies, small toys, or anything else that would be improved being under a shade tree.
I hope all you CoolKids are enjoying these sweet days that seem to go on forever, and are able to find ways to absorb every moment that matters this summer. Hoping this list inspires you to go back to the simpler, almost more obvious and cliche ways of spending time. They are guaranteed to put a twinkle in your child’s eye and create a memory that lasts forever.