Ten Truths of Summer
1. At the beginning of summer I will buy new plants, but some of them will die before I even get around to planting them, and by July I will have lost all interest in taking care of them. Next year I will repeat the process.
2. Food that doesn’t have much taste or appeal on its own, i.e., hot dogs with unknown ingredients or white hamburger buns that taste like cardboard, become really popular when eaten next to a smoky grill with ketchup and mustard.
3. The strongest summer memories will be made on family road trips, and eighty percent of those memories will be about the car trip itself, not the final destination. There will be books, and snacks, and some yelling involved, and somehow it will all seem worth it, even if it did take eleven hours one way.
4. Mothers of school-aged children are bracing themselves with routines, plans, and every list of “100 Free Things to Do This Summer” they can find. July will be spent trying to keep cool, and August will be a frenzy of crossing things off the bucket list. If the kids can play together and get along with minimal television intervention, we’ll call it a win.
5. It will be hot. It always is, and yet everyone will wonder if it was this hot last year. You know it’s trite to talk about the weather, but seriously, it’s so hot you can’t think to talk about anything else.
6. A $5 plastic wading pool is money well spent. Anything with water will keep your kids entertained for a long time: water slides, water balloons, pools, sprinklers, or homemade games. If you don’t have a pool, set up a water activity or sprinkler in your yard. If you don’t have a yard, put the kids in the bath tub.
7. This will be a season of messes. Popsicles, ice cream, watermelon, wet dogs, muddy picnic blankets, dirt tracked in the house, and toys everywhere. Embrace the mess.
8. The summer seems long at the beginning, when it stretches for twelve weeks ahead of you. But it’s only twelve weeks, and you’ll wonder where the time went. One day you’re attending the end-of-school awards assembly watching a photo montage set to “I Believe the Children Are Our Future” (try getting that song out of your head a week later), and before you know it, you’re buying school supplies and fall clothes for next year.
9. Your kids will stop saying they’re bored if you make them clean something around the house every time they say it.
10. The kids have a small number of childhood summers in their life, and it doesn’t take much effort to make the most of them. Jumping on the trampoline, packing for imaginary adventures, riding a bike without training wheels, getting a stack of books at the library, and jumping into a cold pool don’t require a lot of grand plans. Casual, easy, and spontaneous are what kids are best at, so let them come up with most of the summer plans.
What parts of summer are true for you and your family every year?