As you guys know, Husband and I have deemed this our Summer Of Fun.
Sounds amazing, right?
Don’t we sound like such cool, carefree parents? (Don’t answer that. It was rhetorical.)
Well it’s officially our first day of Summer break over here, and if I’m being honest I should tell you that we’re already playing it fast and loose with our definition of “fun”. If you count getting woken up by an early-riser (why, God?), putting out a fight over who gets the last of the Frosted Mini Wheats, answering 47 questions about the plan for the day in a way that does not dash all hope but also can’t later be misconstrued as “you promised!”, and paying bills all before 9:30 am as “fun”, then YES, we are having so much fun already.
The thing is, we did deem this the Summer of Fun, but we don’t exactly have a mile-long list of riveting activities to keep the children entertained for the next 85 days. (I like to call them “the children” every now and then, because it makes me feel fancy.)
Other than a couple trips to the beach, a camping trip with friends (in a trailer, because air-conditioning and coffee pots), and the annual road trip that Amber and I take with our kids, we don’t have much on the calendar.
And you know what?
THAT is fun.
The lure of freedom and all the possibility it represents is the most thrilling thing in the world to me right now.
For us, The Summer of Fun is mostly about choosing to consciously find and appreciate the fun in regular-life moments. There will be lots of swimming and Popsicles, outdoor movies and late bedtimes, family game-nights and spontaneous picnics in the park.
I guess what I mean is that we will not be standing on our heads and dancing like monkeys in an effort to keep the kids happy. Because everyone knows that ‘keeping the kids happy’ is the biggest booby-trap in the entire world. They would ride that wave until we are fully capsized on the Sea Of Parents-Who-Died-Trying.
Am I making our kids sound beastly? They aren’t. They’re actually two of my favorite humans. It’s just that it’s Day 1 and I haven’t quite decompressed yet. I haven’t even made it out of my favorite sweatpants yet, which, now that I think about it, does technically count as fun in my book. I do love my “house pants”, as Husband calls them.
See? This is the beauty of the Summer of Fun! It’s whatever you want it to be!
Do you want to plan trips and make charts and fill the calendar up with all manner of “activities”? Yay! Go you! Do you want to shuffle around the house in your stretchy pants, reheating your coffee and letting the kids watch cartoons until 10am? Rock n roll! That counts too!
Guys, we are the parents, which means we are the boss, which means we get to choose!
Liberty is ours!
Sorry, I get excitable on days when I don’t have to go places and do stuff.
One of the ways we are cultivating fun is by intentionally creating space for it to happen spontaneously. For us that means less to-do lists and more free time. It means less glancing at the clock and more watching the sun set from the back porch. It means fewer rushed dinner-hours and early bedtimes and more snuggling on the couch with popcorn and a movie.
It means that for a season we will be saying Yes to carving out time to rest instead of saying Yes to more busyness.
For me, this means allowing myself to recharge my batteries with writing as well. While it’s something that fully feeds my soul, it can also take a lot out of me. Don’t worry, this isn’t some kind of Dear John letter where I tell you “I’m leaving you, but there’s a roast in the fridge and you’ll be fine without me”. Because if I’m being honest, I like to pretend that you guys need me as much as I need you.
No, I’ll still be here. I’ll be writing all about our wins and fails as we gamely attempt a Summer of Fun. This is just me, giving myself a little room to fill up my tank. To read books and try new recipes and have leisurely conversations with the people I love. To get inspired, to turn dreams into plans, and to actually get to work on those plans. To cultivate new relationships and pour into old ones. To host dinner parties, and coffee dates, and reacquaint myself with the joy of hospitality.
I just need a little bit of extra time and space to do so. In other words, I need to have an actual life to write about.
The good news is, I have a plan.
For once, I have a plan!
Sorry, that felt worth saying twice.
I’m super excited because one of the ways I’ll be practicing hospitality this summer is here on the blog. I’ve always said that I think hospitality isn’t just about making room, it’s about inviting people in, and I’ve invited some really amazing writers to share their words here this summer. Some of them are men, some are women, some will be lighthearted and funny, some will be honest and raw. They’ll be sprinkled in between my regular weekly posts, so make sure to stay tuned because I don’t want you guys to miss these words!
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Here’s to the Summer of Fun and being the boss of our own schedules!
Because life & liberty & the pursuit of happiness and all that.