Making summer plans before winter is complete? For some nurturers these plans are a bright spot among the lingering of winter gray; to others it is an anxious reminder that before we know it summer will be over–we planned it. Do you over plan your summers?
Planning for my offspring summer activities and family adventures is something I approach cautiously, after all I am still semi-hibernating. My mind is slow. Most of my offspring don’t like a lot of planned activities in the summer and our budget doesn’t allow for much–we’d rather splurge on family fun. Many years ago I got in the habit of letting my offspring decide if they wanted to participate in basketball or theatre camp or if they wanted music lessons or that adventure class at the zoo. Church and community offerings for camps don’t always suit my offspring. They don’t want to be gone all day. Sleep away camp is limited to maybe one a year–Boy Scout camp for the boys and Girls Camp (church) for the girls.
I decided I would do mommy camp when they were little and have continued it ever since https://abundantnurturing.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/mommy-camp/. It is much less structured than a day camp. I choose skills my children need to learn like cooking and laundry and make that a part of their summer experience. These experiences have changed over the years as they grow older. Some summer skills are now being incorporated into the yearly routine. Kids as young as eighteen months can help with laundry. Offspring twelve or thirteen can learn to wash all their laundry with little assistance. I also let my children have time for their own imagination and projects. That doesn’t mean they are in front of the tv. They can build something, invent something, create something. One year they had an assignment to create their own film–that was fun. They had to write a script and then decide how they would portray that story. We saw dolls doing scenes with lots of dialogue, action figures and blocks acting out Star Wars like story complete with sound effects and dialogue, and one offspring had a story with mostly sound effects (not much for talking). Each year my children have a reading challenge–they decide how many books to read. They also have a writing project like the film and they have short summer bridge book academics that take about twenty minutes a day. My offspring get bored some days–most of their friends are at camp–but mostly they spend time thinking, playing, laughing, and growing.
I savor every minute of summer with my offspring. Even if our family vacation is a local campground. Now that they are getting older summer jobs and other activities are important. I plan to enjoy the rest of their childhood, especially my eighteen year old. Even though he is technically an adult this is his last childhood summer. I plan to teach him some adult skills like banking, grocery shopping, and more cooking and laundry. Most of all I will be memorizing his face, his way, his voice, and his light.
May you each thrive has you look forward to your summer nurturing even though this winter semi-hibernating is not yet complete.
- Laundry of Evidence (abundantnurturing.wordpress.com)