14 Things to Look Forward to this Summer
Yes, SCHOOL’S OUT FOR SUMMER!! And we couldn’t be happier about it.
I’ve experienced all sides of this end-of-school-year phenomenon, and there’s one thing of which I can be sure. Everyone: students, teachers, and parents alike, are all ready for the end. Sure, we’ll miss being productive adults while our children are in school. We’ll miss the incredible teachers they had, and we’ll eventually come to miss the routine. But for today, we are just tickled with all of the possibilities that lie ahead this summer.
I feel a bit like Olaf from Frozen right now, but I can’t help but list all of the wonderful things I anticipate this summer. (I’ll let you know later when the reality of snowmen melting into puddles hits home.) But, for now, here is my list of
14 Things to Look Forward to this Summer.
1. No homework. When your kids are young, their homework is your homework. No more battles to get it started, to focus, to let me help you, to JUST. FINISH. IT. ALREADY. Nope, for the next two months, there will be no checking of homework folders and no homework battles.
2. A season away from kids sports sidelines. I acknowledge that many of your kids play summer sports, too, but not mine. Summer is our time as a family. The sports schedules will start up again in August and I’ll go back to having a bag for each sport with sideline snacks and activities for siblings as well as the endless clean-up of cleats and uniform laundry. Oh joy.
3. A pause in volunteering. PTA, class mom, Cub Scout leader, and all other volunteer hats are hereby thrown in the closet for the summer. (I’m ignoring the small duties that still will take place, but require so much less effort.) No more organizing people or events. No more planning meetings or keeping track of who achieved what. I’m clocking out, folks! I’ll see you in September.
4. The BEACH!!! Living less than an hour from the beautiful Jersey shore means that we can wake up any day and decide it’s a beach day. Pack up a cooler, put on bathing suits and head down for the day. My minivan will have more sand in the trunk than a backyard sandbox by the time summer is over, but I truly do not care. Who’s up for a beach day?
5. Day Trips. I can pile my kids into the car on a moment’s notice and head off to the local zoo, a great hiking trail, or an amusement park. We are free to have fun and squeeze as many great day trips as possible into our summer.
6. Camp. What will get the kids out of bed early and excited to get on a school bus in the summer? Camp!!! Here’s to the magic of camp. Fresh air, activities scheduled by someone else, and led by camp counselors instead of me. Have fun, kids!! Now, who’s free for lunch?
7. The Pool!!! Second only to the beach, I love taking my kids to our town pool. Whether we’ve made plans in advance with friends or not, I can always count on meeting up with familiar faces there. And the very best part is that my kids are all old enough now that I can sit on the side and watch them in the water. I still might get in to cool off and play with them, but I do not have to stand in the pee-warmed baby pool anymore. HOORAY!!!
8. YES. My summer will consist of more Yes than the entire rest of the year. You want to go outside and play right now? YES!! You want to go to the pool? YES!! Want to play a board game together? YES!!! Can we go to the boardwalk? YES!!! You need new books from the library? YES!!! Want to go to the beach? YES!! You want to take a hike in the woods? YES!!!! With no other obligations breathing down our necks, I get to say yes and enjoy my kids doing what they want to do.
9. Sleep. There is nothing like the kid sleep of summer. Days spent in the ocean or the pool, or running around outside with friends wears them out in a way that we don’t see during the school year. Strict bedtimes need not be enforced because, by the end of a fun summer day, they’re putting themselves to bed.
10. Summer cocktails. I’m not saying we parents booze it up all summer long, but there are more social opportunities that lend themselves to a frosty beverage with friends. There’s nothing better than a group of moms gathered together watching our kids happily tire themselves out as another summer day draws to a close. Except the very same with a chilled cocktail in hand. Cheers!
11. Fresh Summer Food. Summer food is so fresh and delicious. We grow some in our own garden and are gifted with items from friends’ gardens, too. Local farmer’s markets, fresh seafood, and fresh produce just make me happy. Can you say, Juicy Jersey Tomatoes?
12. Pajama days. We spend so much time outside during the summer that the occasional pajama day is totally justified. Usually on a rainy day or an excessively hot day where the heat index would keep us indoors anyway. We stay in our jammies from breakfast through dinner, watching movies, building forts, playing board games, and reading.
13. Board Games. Speaking of pajama days and Yes, guess what else works in the summer? A 5-hour marathon game of Monopoly, Pictionary, Scattergories, or Clue. And I’m not too proud to admit that we taught our kids how to play poker and blackjack last summer, too. I see no harm in gambling for M&Ms.
14. Eating Outside. Breakfast on the porch, lunch at the pool, and dinner on the beach. Porches, patios, decks, or picnic blankets. We’ll take it anyway we can get it. I’m enjoying meals with my kids when we eat outside over the summer. No scolding to stop fidgeting, or sit back down until you finish your meal. We’re eating al fresco every chace we get. Bon Appetite’!
So enjoy the summer, families, kids, teachers and parents! We’ll see you in September.