Is summer break really a break? As I sit here this morning with the sun shining through my window, coffee cup in hand, kids still snoozing peacefully on this their first morning of summer break. I wonder will my kids really have a break this summer? And what about a break for us as parent. Should this even be labeled summer break?
Summer is supposed to be the time of year that we rest and recharge. But as I look at my June calendar I wonder, will this happen? Soccer isn’t quite over, softball has just begun, we have kids signed up for volleyball camp, band lessons, two Bible schools, wrestling camp, summer church camp, and a music and art camp. All with good intentions to give them every opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed. You see we seem to have progressed into a world that can not be still. I am just as guilty as any other parent. But not because I do not enjoy rest, trust me I love a good nap. I justify it by saying I want my kids to have so many opportunities that I did not have as a child. In addition to all of this, we sat them all down last night and laid on them the chores and morning responsibilities. You see if I want to enjoy what little free time we will have, and if they want to do all of these camps and what not (even if they don’t know they want to), then honestly mama’s gonna need some help up in here!
But what do we do about it? We could skip it all and just be free this summer, well we could have, had we not had to register for all of these summer opportunities when there was still frost on the ground. If we did that would our kids feel left out, behind, benched….probably. Would they survive, absolutely. Here is what I have realized though. As much as I long for the days of my own childhood of wandering the neighborhood creating our own fun. I did feel left out, behind, and benched. This is why we fill our schedules. We want more for our kids then what we had. We find different ways to have fun. Frankly, its not the 90’s anymore times are a changin.
So I have decided. I can whine about it, be stressed out, wish it were different, carry a grumpy attitude. Or I can be THANKFUL! Even if all of “stuff” we have to do is overwhelming. Summer brings sunshine and sunshine somehow makes everything better. I am thankful that we can afford for our kids to attend these camps and events. I am thankful for able bodied children to run, play, and participate in these activities. I am thankful for a work schedule that allows me to be home in the afternoons and evenings to watch them learn new skills and sharpen the ones they already have. I am thankful for the community we live in that is so progressive and wants to reach out to the children and help mold them in to strong, active, and courageous young people. I am thankful for a husband that shares a desire to raise our family supporting for and cheering for one another. I am thankful for summer mornings when the kids can sleep in because we stayed up too late the night before at a ball game or just being outside. I am thankful for those day trips, evenings, weekends we can sneak away and cruise the river, splash in the pool, BBQ with friends and family.
Summer might not be what it used to be. It might not even be a break. But that doesn’t mean it can’t still be great. So I encourage and challenge you and I ask that you do the same to me. Lets not ruin summer with complaining and over analyzing about what it isn’t. Let’s take it one day at a time, one hour, one minute and savor it. Take a look out your window, breath in the fresh air, feel the warmth of the summer sun and soak it all up. Let’s be thankful for this day and every day because we get to live it!