Monday, June 2, 2014

Farewell, Summer Bucket List

Two summers ago the kids and I began a Summer Bucket List tradition. (You can read about our 2012 adventures here and our 2013 adventures here.) We sat down together and talked about all of the places we wanted to visit, activities we wanted to try, games we wanted to play, crafts we wanted to make, and treats we wanted to bake. Then I created a checklist - a visual reminder of that to which we had committed ourselves - and hung it on our refrigerator.

A few of my favorite pics from the last two summers.

Yes, the checklist refreshed my memory and helped me shake things up when the kids and I needed a change of pace on long, hot summer afternoons. But it also taunted me from it's place of honor on the refrigerator door. I couldn't appreciate the checkmarks and colorful stars - representing our trips to the zoo, the sandcastles we'd built, the science projects we'd attempted, the books we'd read, the berries we'd picked, and the pies we'd baked - because every time I pulled out the orange juice or put away dinner's leftovers, the empty boxes reminded me that the kids and I still had so much to accomplish before the end of August.

So this year we're not creating an official Summer Bucket List. The kids and I still talked about what we wanted our summer to look like, and after that conversation I signed them up for a few extracurricular activities. Will will continue with Tae Kwon Do lessons, take swimming lessons, and attend day-long baseball and space camps. Hallie will take dance and swimming lessons, and attend a dance camp. And I will write whenever I can, with the goal of staying just far enough ahead that if I want or need to take a day off, I won't miss a deadline or leave my lovely readers wondering what happened to Wednesday's post.

Will and Hallie also want to participate in the public library's summer reading program, and I plan to incorporate regular "academic work" (in the form of fun activity books) and periodic science experiments into our schedule. We want to tend our garden and plant a tree, and the kids want to learn new songs on the piano and open up their first bank accounts. All three of us want to play with friends and go swimming and read books and watch movies.

When it comes down to it (and despite the fact that I almost always feel adrift and anxious when operating without a schedule or when I'm forced to alter my schedule without fair warning), I know for certain that I need a little vagueness - less schedule and more flexibility - in our days this summer. I don't want to spend every afternoon focused on crossing something off a to-do list…I want to spend every afternoon focused on making memories.

I can't wait.

Happy summer friends!

1 comment:

  1. My friend, I think you and I are just n the same place this summer! Here's to makkng memories! And I hope to see you at the gym on occasion so we can trade stories!