Poor summer. It is the single most ballyhooed season of the year. So many plans, hopes and excitement. it is a lot to live up to. I mean, when was the last time someone asked you what you were doing this winter.
We moms easily fall into the trap that the allure of summer creates. The end of year pick-up line is full of chatter about trips and camps which can create a sense of inadequacy if you are just counting on the water park, pool and some rockin' mini-golf to while away the days. Or, God forbid, just hanging around the old homestead for weeks on end.
I've done both. We have had summers filled with camps and a few weeks of vacation and others where the kids were outside almost all day, ate dinner and went back out for lightning bug hunts.
The one thing I've learned is there is no wrong way to do summer. What my family needs to get out of our hiatus from school varies from year to year. Some summers, the kids are better served at a camp with an abundance of scheduled time and other times we all thrive on the togetherness without time constraints.
However, our traditions never suffer regardless of our pace. We always go to the same spot for fireworks and ooh and aah the night away. We travel to attend a family reunion each August that allows us to appreciate the extended family we rarely see. And we never fail to get those cheesy beach pictures from the roving photographers that harass you while you are squinting at your Kindle.
In fact, the whole concept of summer is cheesy, wonderful and wide open to interpretation. So, it's only fair that it should be a judge free zone. Whether on vacation, stay-cation or somewhere in between, summer is an individual endeavor.
Let's all give summer a break--and summer parents too-- and let go of the expectations and just enjoy the longer days; whatever they may bring.
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.