Bring on the Bucket Lists and Sunshine: Things to do This Summer

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Hello Summer; Bring on the bucket lists and sunshine

We are all more than ready to slide into summer. After the last year of distancing, masks, separation, and loss, we are eager to throw ourselves into the things we love most and enjoy time with one another again. I always say how much I love the first weeks of summer break and the detox that comes with no early school alarms, no running from school to activities, and rushed dinners. But, reality sets in when my teens just want to sleep in and my four-year-old is content playing in the neighborhood and in the kiddie pool out back. Those days are awesome too, but finding a balance between my lofty ideas of a perfect slow summer and the reality with what my kids have in mind, that is the key to a fulfilling harmonious summer.

There are plenty of free or low-cost things to do around town with a little creative thinking and a handy bucket list. Traditionally, I buy my kids a small canvas at the end of each school year so they can write out their summer aspirations as a bucket list. Kids can tend to go big, so help them to make sure to include other things that are more feasible and within reason without crushing their dream of cliff jumping or skydiving. Setting the right expectations upfront will curb arguments or disappointment about cost or attainability so we set some realistic boundaries. Just remember to respect their desires and remind them if they don’t achieve a goal now, it doesn’t mean they can’t continue to put that goal on their list every year until they make it happen. These bucket lists are a great way to get creative and ensure that everyone gets something out of their summer. Get out in the sunshine and go, see and explore.

We all deserve a summer of refreshment, renewal, fun, and relaxation before that fall crisp air rolls in. We can all find moments of summer indulgence in big and small ways. I plan to soak in all the joy that summer brings, but also allow space to reflect on all the last year has evoked in all of us- the good, bad, the growth as well as the setbacks and not take for granted our simple freedoms. I choose to keep moving forward.

Hello Summer (a poem of reflection)

Goodbye pencils, goodbye papers

Hello warmth, hello cool water

Goodbye tough teachers, goodbye fake friends

Hello again sons and daughters

Summer is here, it took long enough

The sun still rises and sets, even when times get rough

People showed their true colors

Some bright and some dark

Some people emerged in the spotlight

Leaving their mark

Hello family and friends

We haven’t seen you in a while

Together again, finally

Time to switch the dial

Goodbye small things

We learned which big things are important

Hello hugs and hello smiles

Back to basics we learned through our trials

Hello rainbows and popsicles

Hello laughter, goodbye regret

Goodbye rushing and waiting

Time stands still in a sunset

Go on your way and seize the day

Wipe away the sting

its a bright new summer day

Who knows what it may bring

 

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