Whew. We did it. We made it through Summer. Like most moms, I’m over here in the emotional imbalance of crying over Greyson’s new backpack and doing the happy dance. August is over which means the glorious return of Mother’s Day Out and Bible Study. WHICH means I get SEVEN hours a week to eat with TWO hands and the privilege of going to the bathroom by myself.
I realize that for many reasons, I’m in an EASY season of motherhood. But I will argue that summertime with a toddler was a TOUGH one. He’s old enough to be bored, but too young for VBS or Camps. And since he’s an only child, that means that I am his FULL TIME SHOW MONKEY.
But LISTEN. We had an AWESOME SUMMER. And I owe it all to the “Summer O Fun.” When all our activities ended back in May, I realized my full time job was about to be a FULL-ER time job. And I panicked a little bit. I also noticed a LOT of negative social media about how much parents HATE summertime. And that made me kinda sad. My mom always treated summertime like it was one big party. She’s got the “Work Hard, Play Hard” mentality.
So with just a little mental switch, I actually got really excited. No schedule, no commitments, no boundaries! DFW really is one BIG playground, and there were still so many things we hadn’t done! So I coined it the “Summer O Fun”. I even made a banner. Because everything is more official with a title and a banner.
Even more than my love for a title and a banner is a LIST. Hence, the compilation of the “Summer Bucket List”. And Lawd, have mercy, people, Pinterest will let you take this as far as you want to go. I ended up just printing a simple checklist and started filling it in:
On the left column, I listed what were “big outings” for us, like the Perot Museum and Klyde Warren Park. And on the right were simple things we could do in an afternoon, like “Make cupcakes” or “Go for a Sonic Run”. I wasn’t shooting for “magical”, just “manageable”.
And ya’ll. Oh my gosh, we had so much fun. We experienced SO MUCH. My little guy was THRILLED to touch the stingrays at the Children’s Aquarium. We discovered his HATRED of whipped cream, and obsession with Dairy Queen blizzards. His TERROR of bounce houses, and LOVE for splash pads. We ate popsicles, went to puppet shows, and had “pool parties” in the afternoons with Dad. He got SO DIRTY at The Lot that we literally had to hose him down before we got in the car. He got stuck in the second story of the Prestonwood jungle gym, causing me to PIRATE CLIMB a rope to save him. And those cupcakes? We finally took them to the firemen who saved our house from burning down and said THANK YOU.
Even a couple of things that weren’t on the list ended up being our favorites, like gymnastics class and pushing the mini-buggy around Trader Joe’s.
Now-I fully realize that my two year old will NEVER remember this summer. But that certainly doesn’t mean we should sit in the house and count the days until summer’s over. With every activity we did, I could see him learning new things and growing his little personality.
And of course there are the pictures; and his smile says it all. For me, it was like reliving summer all over again, and seeing things through a child’s eyes.
Don’t get me wrong folks, it wasn’t all sprinkles and fairy dust. Some weeks felt LONG and it certainly took some extra effort and planning on my part. There were rainy days, sick days, meltdowns, and mornings that the car just wouldn't start. Heck, we didn't even complete everything on our list!
I also don’t pretend to think that every summer will be as great as this one. Because, life, people. But I’m so glad that I invested in this summer, because FOR ME, these memories WILL last a lifetime!
Peace OUT Summer O Fun…..we hope to see you next year!