Summer's Final Sunset

I see the petunias on my front porch, and there’s no denying that summer days are fading quickly. The tomato and cucumber plants in the garden have yielded up their fruit. Last night at dinner, with red watermelon juice running down the children’s chins, we all recounted some of this summer’s favorites. I know that we won’t remember all of the days, but we’ll remember the moments of this season. Some of the highlights that the kids already recall: a surprise late-night run to a new ice cream shop, a visit to the zoo, camping in the backyard (really just sleeping in the tent) and a day spent at the fair!

Some folks choose to do school throughout the year, and not break (or maybe you have to if you’re in a state that goes year-round). One of the main reasons why I like to take an extra long breath for summer is because I have so many sweet memories of my own of the long and slow days as a child. We’ve wanted the children to learn to work hard for a season, so we can play hard in the summer. “Playing hard” isn’t exactly doll & GI Joe time ; ) It looks more like weekly visits exploring the library, mid-day grocery shopping (taking time to hit all the Costco samples), Tuesday breakfasts at Panera (read more on our fun here), and lots of talking, staying-up, sleeping-in. Evening bike rides and big-kids-only late night board games bring togetherness and connection that we will draw from for many weeks to come.

Another favorite that we have enjoyed for many past summers is listening together to audio book series throughout the summer. Summer break provides time to listen while building Legos in the living room or while riding in the car on our way somewhere (since we’re pretty much always at home during the school year). This summer we read all 9 books in the Little House On The Prairie series! Everyone loved them! Because we all listen together, I have found it easier and natural to engage the kids about the stories, their themes and lessons.

So here we are in the transition days – trying to get back into the discipline of being early-risers, calendar-watchers, and list-creators. There’s a little less lingering at the table, and we should be getting to bed earlier each night (right). The air is crisp, almost chilly, in the mornings, and soup makes the menu; but I’m not quite calling it quits yet. I think we have room for at least one more watermelon!

with love, Damaris

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