Summer Contract

If your family is anything like mine, summer is light and delicious and fun until it’s not, and then I desperately look for things and places to be so we have to get up early, have a schedule and be a human being and put on real pants.

Which, let’s be real here, is August, when school begins. (Cue all the shoulder shrug emojis here.)

Meanwhile, the summer has flown by like the winner in a regatta, so swift we didn’t even notice it.

So, in efforts to help structure our summer a bit, (and enjoy it) here’s our list/my rules for a happy, healthy summer, up for the taking:

1. Keep your room cleaned, bed made, and pick up the things/mess you made before you leave the house.

This seems common sense, yes. This also seems like it should not apply to the adults, yes. They are adults that have all this business figured out, but, well, you’d be surprised.

2. As much as summer is about thrills, cupcakes and roller coaster rides, it is equally as much about appointments, grocery store visits and bills.

Meaning, not every day is a Coke commercial sort of day.

There will being boring times, downtime, and yes, days without popsicles but with grocery store visits. I know. This makes me a little sad too, but life is not all fireworks. As a mother, I feel strongly that while I want you to enjoy those halcyon ice cream afternoons, I also want you to be confident in yourself that you can get through a boring Tuesday morning. Both are important. And necessary to a good life.

3. No whining before 12p please.

This is what I call the “sanity clause” and well, a rule (again, like real life) that you’ll just need to accept and sign off on.

4. Keep the School Stomach please.

That is, the stomach that likes a breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner.

I understand your need to eat cheese puffs at all hours (oh mercy, I understand that too well.) But I need you to remember your School Stomach. We have neither the money nor metabolisms to keep up with a full-on, boredom-induced always-hungry Summer Stomach.

5. Have fun and learn.

Both are the “work” of childhood.

And it’s hard work–learning the unfun things, like patience when mom shops for herself or talks on the phone to her friends, but it’s again, a part of life. Just like summer. But have fun.

And when in doubt, know that you have the imagination and perseverance and something that again, adults have forgotten, the freedom and ability to MAKE fun wherever you go. And yes, there will be workbooks to do, books to read, and also something special called Work Wednesdays in where I get to clean the house and you get to opportunity to learn and help. This is where it’s helpful to employ your mission as a child: to make things as fun as you can. Even while scrubbing the toilets.

6. Lap up the good times with abandon.

Eat the ice cream, scream on the ride, sit in the sun, request swim days over and over again. Start the epic water balloon fight, sleep in, roast the marshmallows, take time to wonder about the stars and fireflies.

Summer is meant to be enjoyed. And lived well and wide through.

7. Wear your sunscreen.

What can I say? I’m still a mom.

 

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