Right after Memorial Day weekend, I made a list of all the fun and educational things Annalyn and I could possibly do this summer. I organized the activities, put a little box in front of each one, and titled the page “Summer Fun List.” We put it up on the fridge and giggled about how much Fun! We were Going! to Have!

Weeks later, worn down by my child’s latest tantrum, I walked to the fridge, grabbed the list, wadded it up and threw it in the trash. I was finished trying to make summer fun.

Aside from sheer exhaustion and tear-my-hair-out frustration, my reasoning for ditching the summer list was the realization that cramming “fun” into our already too busy season wasn’t working for anyone.

More than field trips and play dates and crafts and science experiments, what Annalyn – and Mark and I – needed in the midst of this summer’s chaos and change was quiet time together. Not more time rushing from one appointment to the next, not more of me saying, “Hurry up! Let’s go! We’re going to be late! (Again.)”

So this summer, we didn’t can salsa and green beans. We didn’t go to the new aquarium. We didn’t see theater in the park, we didn’t make sidewalk chalk paint, and we didn’t practice handwriting or finish an educational craft about money.

But we did . . .

Visit friends and spend hours simply hanging out
Go to Mark’s softball game and cheer him on
Play a lot of doctor . . . and princess . . . and rock star
Go to the pool, where Annalyn learned to jump in after watching her dad jump in
Take lots of trips to the library
Snuggle in bed in between tickle fights and reading “one more” book

Sure, we also made a geography-themed craft one day and managed to make play dates with a few friends. We had a picnic reunion with old friends and ate a lot of watermelon. But for the most part, we made a point to hang out more and run around less.

Did you create a bucket list for this summer? What did you check off your list?

What should you watch next?


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