I love summer! I love how the weather is warmer, the traffic is lighter, and everyone just seems happier. I love how many things there are to do and places to see — not just in Boston, but venturing out to the rest of New England, too. Bucket lists full of beaches, hikes, amusement parks, and festivals. But, sometimes, it can all get so overwhelming, especially when trying to cram it all into short periods of time.
We took our kids to Story Land for the first time this summer. It was just as amazing as I thought it would be — my older daughter rode her first roller coaster and loved it, they both were enamored by tea with Cinderella, and we enjoyed walking around North Conway. Leading up to the trip, I researched so many side trips we could add to the adventure, and part of me felt bad that we didn’t pack in as much as I might have liked. And, already, I started thinking about other weekend or day trips we could do.
A couple days later, we were in the backyard on one of those “feels like 100 degrees” days. We were all still drained from the trip and exhausted, in advance, thinking about our next trip coming up a week later. So we decided to keep it as a simple afternoon. We turned on the sprinkler, brought out some bubbles, and feasted on freeze pops. We did nothing else. It was bliss.
And what made it bliss? It was simple.
Then, it dawned on me. Yes, there are opportunities to do so much, especially in the summer. That level of opportunity can be so stressful. We want to explore and do and take advantage of the limited great weather we have. And we want our kids to be able to see and do and discover. And we want our Facebook friends to see all that we are doing.
But, it also is just as great to keep it simple. That’s why I am inviting you to make the rest of your summer a “keep it simple summer.” It doesn’t have to be an everyday thing. But try to work in some “keep it simple” moments. Slow down your rhythm, and try to focus on being.
After dinner, go for a walk around the block at your toddler’s pace. Delight in their joy as they pick you a bouquet of weed flowers. Go to your local town beach and don’t bring any toys. Pick raspberries and let the kids’ clothes get stained. Eat ice cream outside and realize how the five senses really can all be involved. Stay up later than usual and let your little ones watch the summer sunset. Blow bubbles in the driveway and hear them giggle for hours. Summer can be the time of simplicity. If you let it.
Part of the beauty of summer is how nature and the changing seasons are so in your face. There are so many opportunities to discover and indulge in the magic of what’s around you during this time of year. By keeping it simple, your kids will help you see it, if you let them.