Planners are the hottest things on the shelf these days. I love a clean, fresh calendar with large squares and fancy pens to color code and organize my planned events. Over the years, I have completed more calendars planning how our family will spend our summer, but have failed in an epic way when it comes to journaling my summer memories.
Sure, I have plenty of pictures, but if I sat down and thought about all the summers I have spent with my children, I wouldn’t be able to completely recall all of our summer days spent together.
Social media can bring about feelings of inadequacy when a young mom views the status of other moms who have signed their children up for just about every summer activity. I have watched the face of a young mother listening to other moms list their summer plans. I can feel the parent peer pressure in the air and I have seen the look of uncertainty on her face.
Moms, I just want to tell you, it doesn’t make you a better parent to have your child registered for every summer event out there. Children need the summer to recoup and time to recover from the constant running here and there during the school year. You especially need this quiet time with your child to slow down and reconnect with him without distraction.
Even though we homeschool our children, our school year is full and sometimes over-scheduled. When my two oldest sons were young we stayed home all summer long only going to the pool and the park. We didn’t have the calendar filled with activities from the time school let out in May until the few weeks before returning in August. We rested, played, read books, watched movies and went on long walks. Somewhere along the way, and I’m not even sure when, I fell into the trap of busyness and began filling up the summer calendar before May had even arrived. Since then I’ve had two more children and I’ll admit it, I’m a little more tired than I was years ago, and dropping them off to different activities during the summer would make my life a whole lot easier.
Years are slipping away from me and the memories of my summers with my children seem to be replaying in my mind more often.
Those days of feeling like I just needed a break or they would have more fun with their friends; I am now finding myself wishing I could have those times back to do over again. When our children are home for the summer we shush them away or find them an activity for them to quietly complete or an adventure to explore on their own. Take those moments with your children; they are yours and you can never get those moments back.
I am not discouraging you from sending your children to camp, educational day classes, VBS or even Grandma’s house. I’m just helping you see what I did not realize until just recently. You see, each year you have 13 weeks of summer with your children, but you really only have 16 of those summers. Before you can even turn around they will have their driver’s license, will want to hang out with their friends, their girlfriends, and will soon want to begin working. For all those memories you want to make with your child, you really only have 208 weeks of summer before they fly. Yes, that is it.