Gum in Your Hair

A blog for parents under the big sky.

A Summer Promise to My Kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
| Written by Leigh Ripley |

Although summer is not my favorite season (I don’t do hot), I am looking forward to hanging up the backpacks for a few months, reducing sports and activity schedules, maybe occasionally sleeping in past 6:30 a.m. and getting serious quality time with my kids.

As my oldest wraps up her freshman year of high school, it has become increasingly clear that I’m losing her… fast. And before the door has closed behind her, I’ll be getting my second and third daughters through high school and off to college. I hate to sound like a cliché, but where did the time go?

For the first time in my children’s lives, this summer is not jam-packed with camps linked together by camping trips and visitors. We’re relatively loose. Although the uber organizer in me is tempted to start filling our days, I decided to promise myself (and my kids) to keep this summer fun, easy and chill with minimal structure and much love. I want to embrace the lazy days with them because there aren’t many left.

Here’s what I am promising myself and my children this summer:

  • I promise to enjoy downtime, and not worry about summer jobs and brain-drain (aka, the summer slide).
  • I promise naps under shady trees.
  • I promise to not overschedule everyone and allow boredom to be something we remember fondly.
  • I promise to buy us each a hat and giant sunglasses.
  • I promise to make spontaneous day trips to the lake as good as a pre-planned week in Glacier.
  • I promise to hide everybody’s shoes once in a while so they have to go barefoot.
  • I promise to hike more, bike more and then relax more.
  • I promise to pick and press flowers.
  • I promise to take away phones and mandate an hour of afternoon quiet time to read, daydream or journal.
  • I promise to make small excursions to the ice cream shop meaningful by listening intently to my kids and making eye-to-eye contact even if the teenager fights it.
  • I promise to let them sleep under the stars.
  • I promise messy crafts for the little one and hair products and makeup everywhere for my tween and teen.
  • I promise to go to the pool when it’s hot, and do movie marathons when it rains.
  • I promise sand between toes.
  • I promise to make homemade lemonade with honey.
  • I promise side-by-side pedicures and neon flip-flops.
  • I promise to let go of my inner neat freak and welcome lots of sleepovers, popcorn in bed and late-night whispering.
  • I promise to let my older one bleach her hair with lemon juice and my younger ones paint their bodies in mud.

Most of all, I promise to enjoy the long summer days with my girls and love them as warmly as I can. And then, let’s be real…they will be so done with me by late August they will welcome the return of school.