Each summer starts the same; I make a Summer Fun spreadsheet complete with all there is to do for fun in our hometown over the summer.  We join every summer children’s book club, spend hours at swim team, enjoy the songs at VBS, wander around at museums, compete against our friends in bowling and jump at the local bounce house place.

Of course, I mix-in educational opportunities so their little minds don’t regress over the two and a half months they have to “rest” from school.

Yes, I go a little crazy trying to pack as much as I can into our summer break.  I love summer and cherish all the extra time it gives me with my now school aged children.  I don’t want any part of it to be “wasted” before we head back into the busy school year.

It never fails, after a few weeks of checking items off my Summer Fun To Do List, we settle down into a nice relaxed rhythm.  Some days we still look for fun, but mostly we just enjoy being with each other.  For some reason, it always takes a while for me to remember the best summer memories from my own childhood aren’t of us “going and doing,” but the fun things that just happened when we were together.  I hope that the same is true for my own children one day.

Now that the school backpacks are hanging on the familiar hooks and the swimsuits are drying, I realize that my top 10 summer 2011 memories are not items I could cross off on my Summer Fun spreadsheet.

  • Singing and dancing around the kitchen
  • Hanging out in the pool
  • Curling up with a big stack of books to read
  • Experiencing Adoration with them for the first time
  • Listening to my kids explain their latest Lego creation
  • Basking in the unique personality of each child
  • Explaining socio-political theories during a long drive
  • Laughing as they make a movie together all about hamsters
  • Praying together for a friend who lost a loved one
  • Tasting new foods

I’m stapling this list to my June 2012 calendar to remind me next year that summer is not a to do list, but will still be full of memories I will always treasure.

Copyright 2011 Lisa Jones