Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Yes! Sure! and Absolutely!

Today is the last day of school and I could not be more excited!  I am very thankful for the structure of school, but by May, the kids and I are both tired of hearing me say, "No, not today," or "no, we need to get to bed early tonight."  Summer is the time when I can say yes more that I say no. I love that!  A few years ago I made an effort to give my kids the gift of spontaneity during the summer and it is now our summer norm.

We love to go.  We aren't even really picky about where.  We just love to have an activity to do, but I noticed that the logistics of leaving the house often prevented us from spontaneous fun.  This was frustrating to me so I began to eliminate obstacles.

For example, getting out of the house to go to the pool was a chore, so, I made a pool bag.  This bag stays by the back door and is stocked with sunscreen, swim diapers, towels, and the kid's swimsuits.  Now if someone says can we go swimming I am free to say, "yes!.  While they get their shoes and get in the car I go put my suit on.  Everyone else will change at the pool.  This has made going to the pool much less of an ordeal because they are very motivated to quickly get lubed up and changed if they are looking at the pool while doing it. 

The pool bag worked out so well, I then made a picnic bag.  It is stocked with paper plates, napkins, plastic utensils, mustard, ketchup, graham crackers, marshmallows, and a lighter.  I keep it in my laundry room and that way if someone says, "Can we eat at the park?"  I can say, "SURE,"  and off we go.  All we have to do is stop by a convenience store on the way and grab buns, hot dogs, and a bag of charcoal.  This has made for so many fun summer evenings around our house.  I thought I hated picnics, but it turns out I just hated the prep work.  Now that I have the picnic bag, I love to picnic!  It turns out you don't need half the stuff I was dragging along!

The third thing I did that really made them smile is that whenever they ask if they can have a friend over I say yes.  I got over my need to organize a "play date" and just became the spur of the moment "can I come pick your kid up mom".  At first this was hard for me but now I really enjoy it.  I had no idea how much this would impact my relationship with my kids.  It really means a lot to them that they can share their home with their buddies and as a result they want to participate more in taking care of our home.  Who knew??

Time is precious.  I am so thankful that I have reduced some of the things that were preventing me from enjoying my kids.  Think about what you want to do with your kids this summer and find a way to make it fun for you too.  You will not regret it!

1 comment:

  1. These are great thoughts! Thanks for sharing them. You are right about the work it takes to go to places like the pool. Good suggestions to simplify them!