Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Simply Summer

School is out in my part of the world and all around me I hear the sounds of adjustment: mothers on cell phones saying  "wait just one minute"  to impatient children tugging at the hem of their shorts; kids cannon-balling into pools as if this will be their only chance to swim this summer; ice cream trucks with their faux calliopes; dogs barking in ecstasy as children barrel out into back yards. It's a happy-crazy-wild time of year. 

Since my church offers several camps over the summer, I am probably in my busiest season. I certainly spend more time with kids over the summer than at any time during the year. I am astonished at how much time kids spend at camp each summer - and I feel a little sad that they don't get to have the long, lazy, boring summer days of my childhood where we went out after breakfast, often ate lunch at a picnic table in the shade of the house and played until we were called in for supper and sometimes even got to go out after until dark or mosquitoes drove us in. We went days without getting in the car - and I think of what a luxury that would be for a mom or dad these days. (In fact, when I play around with ways to create Sabbath space in my life, not driving for 24 hours is one of the exercises I do. Not driving is definitely a way of resting for those of us in cities of a certain size.)  
I know I have previously written about slowing down for summer, but I tracked down something blogger  Life as I Know It penned two summers ago, and I wanted to share her idea and the product of that idea: "Last week I unrolled a big piece of art paper on the kitchen table, armed them with markers, and told them to write down anything and everything they want to do or try or accomplish this summer. The only 'rule' was that once something gets written down on the Great Summer List of '10, then it must be done.
A lesson in brainstorming, goal setting and list making all in one."
She wrote that this was a much simpler list than she had predicted. And it contained surprises - archery and making whipped cream were completely unexpected.
In August she shared that they had just completed the last item on the list, "Go on a big sHiP" by visiting a historical ship in the Boston harbor. Then, in a post during the first week of school she said: "[D]o you know what happens when we don't give our chidlren a chance to slow down? They don't get the opportunity to find out who they really are. And isn't that the whole point? Of life? To discover who we are?"

I agree with Life as I Know It. That is the whole point - to discover who we are! When we bring our children to be baptized we trust that they are receiving the Holy Spirit, and with the Spirit, spiritual gifts. Discovering those gifts is their job, and you get to be their support staff on this project. So, what does the summer hold for you and your kids - or you and your inner child?

It might be time for a Great Summer List of '12.

No comments: