As the ABC countdown nears its end, the kids' excitement grows exponentially.Whether your kids have 1 week or 1 day of school remaining (maybe more than those items), the event comes with trepidation for parents. How will we fill our days? Will the kids experience summer brain drain? Will I ever get to take a shower for more than 1 minute? Don't fear new opportunities are on the horizon.
The summer can be a wonderful time for parents and kids. One really good thing - after school activities are done. There is no more rushing to serve dinner at 4, 5, and 6 so that everyone can have a decent meal before swimming, track, orchestra and bedtime. Just think of all the gourmet meals that you can cook. Watch out Food Network, Foodies and Instafood, those meals are going to make you drool. Ok, lets be realistic. There will be edible food on the table. It is summer; we want to have fun; and you're realistic.
The summer presents a chance to try something new. What about that new rope climbing fun in the city park (that you've never visited)? The local amusement park is opening the country's hottest ride. That top ranked restaurant finally accepts reservations. Again, let's be honest. Maybe the new item is that you don't wash your hair every day and you're ok with it. Maybe the new thing is that you let the kids ride around the block by themselves. New doesn't have to be gigantic; it just needs to be new.
Summer is all about the family vacation. The suitcases are ready. The kids have drooled over all the commercials. Family vacation can't get here fast enough. But, do you have to spend all that money on a fabulous vacation - maybe yes, maybe no. Don't get me wrong. I spent a big on a once in a lifetime, family bucket list vacation. It was totally amazing; I think about those moments every day; and I would do it again. But, I saved for 5 years. Maybe this year's summer vacation is something small or maybe you skip it for something bigger down the road. The purpose of a vacation is to relax and spend time together. Those two thoughts don't come with a price tag. Think about the purpose before putting $1000 on your credit card for amusement park tickets.
In the end, remember what you (not the parent, but the kid) loved about summer. Summer was simple, joyful and not complicated. Give those special moments to your kids (and yourself). It might bring the best memories for years to come.