School’s Out for Summer! School’s Out Forever!
When we roll out of the last pick up of the year blasting Alice Cooper and screaming our lungs out, I know for sure that summer is officially here!!! And I love, love, love that we’ve moved Munger VBS to the beginning of summer this year. So we’ll get started with a bang (or a ROAR, as the case may be) and then we’ll just break out the flip flops, kick back, and enjoy the long warm… hot… roasting? days.
A lot of you know me, but for those of you who don’t, I’m pretty much the poster child of a “Type A” personality. I like organization. I love lists. I LOVE checking things off lists. So anyway, a few years back I started making a little list of all the fun things I wanted to do with my kids over the summer. Well, maybe “little” isn’t the most accurate adjective. These things were extensive. And while they definitely ensured that we had a blast over the summer (or fall, or winter), they also made summer really stressful (gotta check off every activity!) and really expensive.
Last year I decided to take a different tack. There was still a list, but I let my kids drive what was on it. You know what, it was very different. They want trips to the ice-cream shop, pool days and hanging out with friends. It’s so much slower paced and less expensive than the summers that I come up with. Kids – especially little kids – are just so much better at taking pleasure in the little things.
This year I’ve already had an opportunity to put the breaks on and see the summer through my kids’ eyes. For Memorial Day weekend, I had in mind to go down to Fossil Rim, where they have the dinosaur park and the awesome safari zoo. We could get a hotel and go to the awesome activities – the kids would love it! But my husband and I talked and realized that we had one set of good friends who had invited us over to swim. And another set of good friends who had invited us to a crawfish boil. And another set of of good friends who wanted to go kayaking. And so why was I pushing this trip when we had so much to do at home? We stayed in Dallas and the kids got to have a lot of fun and connect with their friends. It was an absolutely amazing weekend.
There are a lot of things to do around Dallas for free. Last summer we enjoyed a scavenger hunt at the Dallas Museum of Art, took a trolley ride downtown, played in countless splash pads, spent time in libraries, discovered free play places. We’ll probably do all of that again this summer. Or not. Because I’m not making a strict list and checking it off. We’re gonna play it by ear and I’m going to do what the kids want to do. Which means the kids will often just want to play at home. It’s not what I would choose to do, but ever since he reached elementary school, my son never seems to have enough time to just play and rediscover all his neglected toys. Over the summer he can wear them out!
In all of this I’m reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:34: Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own. I was so busy worrying about a self-imposed list of awesome things that I thought my kids needed to do, that I wasn’t focusing on the day. But each day has enough trouble (and awesomeness) of its own.
If you have littles at home (and if you’re reading this blog then you probably do) then you know your kids do tend to live in the moment. In the school year this drives me up a wall because we’re late and the kids WON’T. STOP. LOOKING. AT. THAT. BUG. But it’s summer. So I’m going to try to let each day worry about itself as much as I can. I’ll fail. (I’m super Type A, remember?) But that’s okay, I’ll just keep trying. Because in the end, the song my son loves to sing is only partially true. School is out for summer, but it’s not out forever. And soon enough the next school year will come. I don’t need to worry about that, because God is in control of the future and I’m just going to stick with today.