Then followed that beautiful season… Summer….
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
For many of us, summer officially arrives on the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend. Summer is without a doubt my favorite season, and I am thrilled that it is here!
I’ve been thinking about some of the things I’d like to enjoy this summer with the kids, and I’ve come up with five to start with:
1. Lots of Ice Cream. Last summer, we started an ice cream journal and it was so much fun. We got a blank book at a local art store, and kept a record of each ice cream stand that we visited. Each of the kids took turns writing in the journal, and at the end of the summer, they voted on their favorite ice cream. We also have an ice cream maker, and produced several delicious batches of homemade strawberry last year. Can you ever eat enough ice cream?
2. Swim ’till we drop. My kids LOVE the water, and we will spend lots of time enjoying it this summer. We have plans to visit several beaches, lakes, and pools. Watching the kids swim for hours on end while I sit back on a lounge chair is still something I am in awe of. After six summers of worrying that a child could drown before my eyes, all of them are strong swimmers now. The smell of chlorine, little faces with goggle marks on them, and the glory of no swim diapers are all beautiful things. When I think of my own childhood, I can close my eyes and still smell summer: my worn towel laid out on a corner of cement at the Barrington Y, asking my mother for fifty cents to buy a grape Fanta soda, while patiently waiting for adult swim to end. For me, there can never be a true summer without endless amounts of swimming.
3. Eat Fresh, Eat Local. We planted a garden, and the kids LOVE watching it grow. They also enjoy going to local farm stands with me and picking out our weekly produce. We pick berries all summer, depending on what is in season. Gardening is so easy and fun. Even if you aren’t up for dirt, weeding, and fertilizer, consider growing a couple of tomatoes in pots. I spent $44 to get mine up and running this year. Not bad for the fresh vegetables we’ll enjoy together. I found this blog for any rookies needing help: http://www.gardeningblog.net/ Another great thing to do is to get a share at a local farm. Lots of my friends go this route, and love it. I love the back-to-basics goodness that gardening brings into our home.
4. Savor Half-Day Fridays. I have a sign over my sink and it reads: THE GREATEST THING TO SPEND ON CHILDREN IS TIME. One of the biggest gifts Gordie gave the kids and I was implementing half-day Fridays in the summer for his company. Being your own boss has its’ perks, and although he has to work extra hard to enjoy these Fridays, the kids absolutely love it. His arrival home just after lunch serves as that important reminder that when it comes to kids, it doesn’t take a lot to make them happy. Above all, they want your time.
5. Enjoy the Ride. While we have a lot of great things planned, we will also have plenty of days with nothing on the books. Part of the beauty of summer is the way each day unfolds and brings us unexpected surprises. Whether a friend calls and invites us over to their pool, or we decide on a whim to spend a day in Boston, we’ll embrace it all. Before I know it, late August will be here and Whitney will have nine summers down with nine to go.
What’s on your list for summer?