My kids wrote a summer bucket list. It’s filled with fun and educational activities—gymnastics class, library reading club, play dates, the zoo. Most days, we check at least one item off the list.
Some days, we don’t.
And those are the days I hear the voice. You know her. I’ll bet she lives in your head, too.
“You’re wasting your summer,” the voice whispers. “Shouldn’t you be planning some Pinterest-worthy craft or taking your kids on a scavenger hunt or something? Really, my dear, just look at them over there, lounging in the living room watching Sprout and eating popsicles. Don’t you have anything better to do?”
I peeked at my girls snuggled in front of the TV, laughing, slurping and dripping blue Freeze Pop juice on the carpet, and I realized—no. We do not have anything better to do. Not today.
This is what summer is about.
“I’ll refresh tired bodies; I’ll restore tired souls,” (Jeremiah 31:25, MSG).
For nine months, school laid siege to our household. The academic schedule dictated everything, from wake-up calls to bedtimes and all activity in between. By the time June finally arrived, we desperately needed a break.
So I won’t feel guilty for taking it.
Structure is good for kids, yes. I orchestrate enough summer activities to keep my daughters occupied and learning, and you probably do, too. But when did we start believing that down time is less valuable? Sometimes my girls just want to run barefoot in the yard and squish toes in the sandbox. They want to build forts and play house and mix mud pies. They want the security of home, knowing I’m here watching over them without taking over every hour of their day.
So I’ve decided it’s okay to spend a morning cleaning house while my kids play make-believe grocery store in their pajamas until noon. It’s okay to sit on a patio chair reading while they practice cartwheels in the grass. It’s okay to have nowhere to go and nobody to see and nothing impressive to post on Facebook, because an open day is a gift to unwrap and explore. We all know that when September comes, those gifts will hide away. Let’s grab them while we can.
Rest. Restore. Enjoy.
You’re not wasting your summer. You’re making the most of it.
Last night, after I tucked the girls in bed, I climbed over two heaping laundry baskets to reach the sofa. My husband slid a disc into our Blu-Ray player and grabbed the remote. Then I heard the voice again.
“Shouldn’t you fold those towels?”
This time, I answered.
“Zip it, lady. I’m watching a movie. You’re not welcome here anymore.”