Summer and Down Time

So I totally didn’t intend to take a several-days-long blog break…it just happened because, well, our lives are blessedly full. And while most times I don’t feel like we’re being run ragged, there are days, like today, that make me thankful that most days aren’t like this. For instance: tonight I literally met Matt at Luke’s baseball practice with a Little Caesar’s pizza and some carrot sticks that I’d thrown in the van, and the 2 youngest boys ate dinner sitting in the open trunk of van while Luke practiced and I ran off to a PTO meeting.

If that isn’t redneck, I don’t know what is.

However, it’s mostly not like that. It is busy, yes, but because each kid is only allowed to choose one sport at a time*, it’s manageable.

This is a very intentional parenting choice we’ve made…it’s not an easy one at all, because, of course, there’s definitely a societal push to let your kids have every opportunity to try things that they can. And we sometimes have to address this head-on with the boys, but we try to frame it up in how much we value our time together as a family, and we aren’t willing to let that slide to do more. And then Matt and I pray that this doesn’t bite us in the a$$ when they get older and hate us for not letting them play more sports. After all, they will choose our nursing home.

More and more, though, I’m reaffirmed of our decision, especially when I read articles like this one that my friend Chelsey posted on Facebook a couple of weeks ago. I love this quote:

In his book The Intentional Family, William Doherty argues that parents must be deliberate in how they keep their families connected and strong. They must remember that their children’s best interests are not served by a crazy schedule that threatens family togetherness and time for play and relaxation. He writes, “An intentional family rows and steers its own boat rather than being moved only by the winds and current.”

Once again this year, my kids won’t be attending summer school (note: most summer school classes our district offers are just for fun, not remedial). I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it…I just don’t want anywhere to be at 8am every day for a month (keep in mind that during that school year, we are an early start school…my kids are out the door at 7:20 every day, which means I’m up an hour earlier than that). I like having our relaxed, laid-back routine, and am picturing it will be a repeat of last year. I already told them breakfast isn’t going to be served until 8am, so if they’re hungry before then they can help themselves.

Don’t get me wrong. It isn’t all sunshine and smiling faces. There are days that make me want to hide in the basement with an IV of Dr. Pepper and my iPhone for playing games in an attempt to restore my sanity. But mostly, I really love being home with no real plans except to accomplish the daily to-do lists and get to the neighborhood pool ASAP.

I’m not opposed to a week of VBS here and there (sadly, we’ll be on vacation when our favorite VBS is going on), or having a friend over now and again. I hope I don’t sound like we’re hermits or anti-social. In fact, we’re working on our summer 2012 bucket list, which I’ll post when we’re finished with it.

If you’re looking for some fun things to do with your kids this summer, my friend Maggie (that link is to a post with similar sentiments as this one!) compiled this AMAZING list of things to do with your kids in St. Louis. We’re definitely using some of her ideas in our list! She also made spreadsheets of different local VBS programs AND another one of local camps. Tons of resources at your fingertips! Thanks, Maggie!

11 more days of school for the older boys. I’m as excited as they are that summer is almost here.

*in addition to sports, there are school clubs/activities that I will allow, like chess club, Kids Character Council, etc.

2 responses to “Summer and Down Time

  1. Thanks for the reminder! I heard a great speaker, Patrick Lencioni, who discussed this very subject a few years back at a MOPS convention. He wrote a book called The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family which outlines how to get your family life organized through being less rushed and more intentional. We’re really trying to stick to one activity per kiddo, too, although it’s very tempting to branch out.

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