Recently a friend and I got talking about what our plans were for the summer. She rhymed off all of the activities her family had planned for July and August: soccer and baseball during the week, trips to the lake, family get togethers, plans for summer trips, excursions on weekends and lots and lots of events. LOTS. Like, every weekend full.
What am I doing this summer? Well, the last couple of years have been pretty action packed (I’m just beginning to have the time to reflect on that now). So while I know eventually my kids will be doing the same summer sports (they’re too young right now), and we’ll likely have one million things planned for the summer months, this year I’m planning to have what in my mind equates to an “old-school” summer. Our kids aren’t in school yet so technically nothing really changes in terms of what they do on a day-to-day, but I can tell you for sure: I’m making a conscious effort, as of this weekend, to un-schedule our family for a little while.
I don’t really know what it means yet, but I envision my 3.5 year old outside learning trying to ride his bike every day, going for walks in the bush with all our favourite people, eating breakfast as late as we want and skipping bath time if either kid is occupied with “something awesome” (3.5 year-old's new favourite word). I see my 1.5 year old basking in the sun and the fresh air, staying outside playing with his shovels and pails until dark (and then sleeping through the night like a champ because he’s outdoor exhausted, you know that kind of tired). And then once all is said and done, and the kids are in bed and the sun goes down, I see my hubby and I having a beer in the backyard listening to the neighbourhood.
I just want to be lazy. Keeping in mind that there is never a truly lazy moment when you have two toddlers, I just want to keep the snacks flowing and hope the sun shines as much as possible. Let the kids roam and get dirty and not worry about getting them from point A to point B, all. the. time. We can go back to scheduling when the weather sucks, it's minus 30 and we're indoors most of the time.
Because let’s face it: the best days of my childhood summers were unscheduled and the fun wasn't determined by a million activities and lessons (not that there's anything wrong with that). They were spur-of-the moment and involved lots of ice cream and play, and riding my bike, racing around the neighbourhood with my best friends until sundown: the mandatory curfew from my mom.
I know that the old school way of parenting has gone to the wayside in a lot of ways, and that we want to make sure everyone is kept busy and stimulated and we’re always making sure our kids are learning new things. But I’m opting to take a break this summer and just see where the days take us.
Enjoy that sun everyone!