Summer can be difficult for even the best families. You know, the ones that have umpteen activities planned and never watch tv or let the house go. This year, we have have had our ups and downs. It has been particularly hard for Sam, our oldest. Here is a child that was so busy during the school year that we all longed for a deep, relaxing breather. And now, suddenly, we struggle to find things to do. But we do like to keep it simple.
In our search for things to do, I am often amazed at how the simplest activity will thrill them. Last summer, the boys like walking to also the Dollar Tree, buying candy and then sitting on the bench outside and watching the birds, cars, people, as we eat.
When they were little, we went for walks every morning—the kind where they sat in the stroller and I pushed. That was great exercise for me and a wonderful opportunity to talk about the trees, birds, flowers, cars, neighbors, and so on. Sometimes that did not work out. The boys launch a strike against me. They wanted to walk and to not get in the stroller. Of course, those days are over. Our boys are growing up fast.
Some of the best summer time experiences, so far, have been right here at home. Our neighbor, Pat, called us over one morning to look at baby birds she had nesting in her fern on the carport. The boys were amazed at the tiny, strange looking, frail creatures. We’ll be watching all summer as the birds grow. Sam and Ben were pouring over Mike’s birding books yesterday.
Sometimes I feel guilty that we are unable to sign our boys up for fancy camps or activities. But then I remember how important my long and “boring” summers were in developing my mind and imagination.It's as if the mind needs some breathing space and I think that's what summer should be for kids.
Last night, we let the boys stay up a few extra minutes so they could see the fireflies in our backyard. I hope they will always keep the sense of wonder and amazement that we saw that night. I don’t know what was glowing more—the fireflies, or the eyes of our boys.