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Challenge: Summer Fun

The Best Summer Moments That Can’t Be Planned

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Maybe it’s all about expectations…

When the activities and excursions that we plan for our children are met with a shrug and a “meh” attitude, our feelings get hurt.

And our parenting moral goes down the tubes.

But we love seeing our family happy, so we continue to ponder and plan for summer adventures that are sure to delight and astound every member of our clan.

My son loves the Pixar movie Inside Out, and we use the term “core memory” in our everyday lives now. Example: Last fall, we found ourselves climbing and sliding down a pile of gravel on a friend’s farm, and my son said “This is a core memory!”

When I think about it, most of our Core Memories have happened during spontaneous moments and organic experiences. Turning a large cardboard box into a “museum”, once one son’s solo project, became a family endeavor.

And Core Memory.

Summer is filled with loose, leisurely time for our children. This freedom provides endless opportunities to explore, to pursue spontaneous ideas, to truly play.

Our kids can start one project that somehow morphs into something else and lassos-in someone else, getting everyone involved in the new mission.

These free-flowing, seemingly pointless activities are actually anything but pointless. Our children’s future interests and hobbies – and even careers - can come about because of opportunities to explore their curiosities and half-baked ideas.

Again…expectations can be the foundation for disappointment. Perhaps our most sure-fire “plans” for an enjoyable summer might just involve a lack of planning. By going with the flow, and allowing our child’s ideas to lead the way, we may stumble upon the best experiences and Core Memories of a lifetime.

And if all else fails, get a big, empty cardboard box.


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