Summer 2022: The One Where We Slowed Down

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Summer 2022: The One Where We Slowed Down

I once heard that we only get 18 summers with our children. It is bittersweet. My oldest is nine, we are half-way through his summers at home. Anyone else feel like we are operating on borrowed time here?

Time marches on at a steady pace and while we cannot adjust the hands of time, we can deliberately slow down and simply do less. When my mom passed at the end of April, I will admit, summer snuck up on me. Here we are in July, but I am still stuck in April to an extent. Planning our summer was not a priority and putting in the prep work was not doable at the time. We contemplated the boys playing baseball, but having two boys on two different all-stars teams is a lot and more than I could handle this year. We are in the midst of summer, the kids are out of school, the weather is hot and the calendar is…empty.

Did I just hear you gasp? Are you wondering if you read that correctly?

Yes. I said the calendar is empty.

Blank.

Nada.

Void.

Empty space.

Impromptu popsicles for breakfast because…why not?

With the pressure from Pinterest and social media, it would be easy to slip into a jam-packed summer, full of calculated fun and routine. But why? The school year is full of structure, with many obligations leaving little room for spontaneity and the B. word.

Yes, I am talking about boredom. I can hear my older two now expressing just how bored they sometimes are. I smile because being bored is so good for kids. Boredom helps build self-esteem, develop skills and creativity. So, please…let them be bored!

Bored Kids
The boys expressed their boredom just before relaxing on the jeep.

This slow-paced summer is glorious and long overdue. Apart from a few day camps, there is nothing planned for my kids over the summer this year. Not having to rush from place to place has helped us cultivate more time at home and more time to appreciate the small things life has to offer. Watching carpenter ants crawl across the driveway as the sunrises, running through the sprinkler in the heat of the day and catching lightning bugs at night, will be lasting memories that Summer 2022 will forever hold. With a slower summer, we can be more intentional with our time and live for the moment rather than rushing to whatever comes next. We are not always looking forward to something but instead appreciating where we are.

Walked to the park one morning and unexpectedly got rained on our way home. We all agreed, the rain was the best part!

A slower summer may indeed be a new tradition for my family. If you have not tried reducing the events on the calendar, let me encourage you to give it a try. Put down the phone, put away the screens, jump on the trampoline, play kickball, visit a park, visit with family, drive down to the lake, be present in the moment, not living out of your car as you shuffle from one destination to the other.

Instead, put on the brakes and enjoy this journey a slower summer has to offer.

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