Making the most of these Last Days of Summer with our kids!

So here we are already nearing the end of August!  How did that happen? For me it seems I blinked and summer passed me by.  So, did you manage to make the most of these glorious halcyon summer days?  Were there visits to the park or beach?  Vacations with family? Extra time for fun and frolicking together?  I truly hope so.  Life is far too short and we all need to enjoy it more, particularly if we have kids. Childhood passes so quickly but the memories of these summer days will be with our children forever; a golden shining time of pure enjoyment. Or so we hope.

Honestly, my family didn’t do many special, planned activities this summer. So this morning I woke up in a bit of a panic realizing that summer has nearly passed us by and we need to DO SOMETHING FUN!! The downside to modern parenting is that we feel a lot of pressure to DO ALL THE THINGS! If we aren’t making Pinterest worthy crafts and directing every moment of our child’s life as if we were professional entertainment directors on a Disney Cruise then we feel as if we’ve failed. I know I often feel that way and I’ve got the 40,000 (mostly unused) Pinterest pins to prove it! Today in the midst of my panic to create a picture perfect summertime memory for my children I had a brief moment of clarity. My childhood Summers of the 1980s were not even close to Pinterest worthy and yet they were magical to me. My parents didn’t spend every moment creating activities and entertainments. Instead I was sent outside right after breakfast and told to stay out there and PLAY. On really good days a popsickle was included or permission was granted to play with the garden hose. Despite the lack of organized activities and special trips I still managed to create golden childhood memories of freedom and peace and relaxation and friendships. Perhaps it was precisely because of all that unplanned free time to just be a kid that those summers are such idyllic memories. Remembering my own childhood Summers, I mentally reviewed the way my family had spent our own summer this year.

My kids ran and played in the cornfield. They picnicked under the trees with favorite toys. They chased fireflies in the back yard. We all watched the chickens peck around the yard together. The kids did lots of self directed art projects without any interference or “organizing” by Mama. They spent days playing in the park with friends. We even went roller skating each Thursday night and once spent the evening at Kings Dominion amusement park. Thinking of all of this made me feel less like I needed to turn in my World’s Best Mama title. As some sage once said, Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans. As parents we really need to let life just happen for our children instead of micromanaging every bit of their lives.

Today instead of trying to pack tons of activity and busyness into our day, let’s try to enjoy each moment a little more. Give extra cuddles. Sit together with some iced tea or chocolate milk or coffee and just talk. Lounge in your own yard for awhile and listen to the birds. Slow down and try to savor these golden moments as they slip through our fingers and become memories.

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