Just before Jack and Leah got out of school a few months ago, I came across a blog post that made me think about how I was going to approach my summer with three kids in the house. Around the same time, a friend on Facebook said that she'd be posting a photo every day during the summer to show what they were doing to find the joy in every day. I decided to combine these two ideas and post a photo every day, showing the joy in even the most mundane of days, and to focus on FUN instead of potentially getting stressed or bored or annoyed. :)
I love my children, and I truly do enjoy having them home all summer. I love lazy mornings and going to the beach and eating popsicles outside. But even in the midst of the fun, I tend to still crave structure and routine in our days and weeks. But this summer, I decided to throw all that right out the window. Out with the chore charts and screen time tickets and in with the impromptu ice cream dates, the bonfires, the beach days, and the movie nights.
***Before I continue... Yes, my kids still did chores when I asked, and they didn't have unlimited access to the TV or computer. And no, I did not plan something fun each and every day to keep them entertained and prevent boredom. We got bored. We got annoyed with each other. We had crappy days and long days and right now we all have this horrendous head cold! But that's what made this fun--we had to find the joy in the midst of even the hardest days. When the toddler wouldn't nap and the road construction had us trapped in our own driveway and it was so hot I thought I might actually melt. Because even on those days, I could still find lots of things to be grateful for.
And here's the thing. When you have to find the joy in every day, you realize how amazingly blessed you are. I enjoyed my family so much this summer! I didn't bemoan the mundane tasks of laundry or washing dishes or packing lunches for the beach. Because I was having so much fun with these crazy kids of mine! (And my husband--summer of fun happened on weekends too!)
Here's a smattering of our "summer of fun" photos:
A few days ago, I took the kids out to Applebees for a "farewell to our summer of fun" celebration lunch. I had printed about 40 of this summer's photos and brought them to look through. We spread out the photos on the table and had an awesome time remembering some of the things we'd done. We also talked about our favorite memories and what things we did this summer that we want to do again next summer.
We ate burgers and French fries and ice cream (and Jack wore the barbecue sauce from his ribs all day). We laughed. We remembered.
And now we're heading into a new season. Back to some structure and routine, which I think we're all craving a little right now. But I am mourning the end of this summer. I will be a little sad to put Jack and Leah on the bus on Tuesday morning. (I think Will will be a LOT sad to see them go....)
Thank you, my children, for joining me on this crazy summer ride! Love you lots. ;)