Remember summers when you were a kid? When you got up and went outside early, stayed out all day, and came in far later than you would during the school year? When you spent days at the pool and ate popsicles, both from the ice cream truck and your own freezer, and had water fights and ran around barefoot, and rode your bike all over the neighborhood? When there were neighborhood block parties, and family reunions, and fireworks and baseball games? Trips to the drive-in and the ice cream place and the park? Church festivals and county fairs? And when rainy days meant fort-building and movie watching, and popcorn or a trip to the movie theater? I do.
Chances are, there was a good amount of complaining about being bored, about the heat, about mosquito bites, but looking back, what stands out is not the boredom or the itchiness. What stands out are fun things we did that made summer...summer.
Those are the kinds of summers I want to give my kids. Our school year always seems to be jam-packed with homework, extra curricular activities, sporting events, and lessons. We're on thego so much that it's hard to find time to slow down and have fun. It can be hard to fit in everything that everyone wants to do around our crazy schedule. And that's why I'm making it the summer of "yes".
Yes to water fights and popsicles. Yes to catching lightning bugs. Yes to pool days, and days at the local kids museum and trips to the movie theater. Yes to going to the sprinkler park, and the fun free events around our area. Yes to movies under the stars, and staying up late. Yes to bike rides and reading in bed at night. Yes to sleepovers with cousins and cartoons in the morning. Yes to playdates and lemonade stands.
Trust me when I say, my kids still hear the word no. We can't do everything or be everywhere at once, and there are some things that just aren't feasible. And yes, we still do chores and read and have summer school work to take care of. But why not fill their summers with fun that they'll never forget? In all honesty, it will be the smallest things that they remember.
Before school even let out, the kids came home one day asking to have a water balloon fight. Did I really feel like filling up water balloons that afternoon? Nope. But my husband agreed, so we went outside and filled some. The balloons themselves didn't last long, but once they were gone, the kids just started filling buckets straight from the hose and throwing them at each other. They spent a good 30-45 minutes throwing water and letting their dad spray them with the hose. They were occupied. They were cool. But mostly, they were having pure, unchecked fun. No arguing, no complaining. Just fun. And just look at those faces... they're totally worth it.