Where Did Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer Go?

Glorious, glorious summertime.

Sunshine … bumblebees … and popsicles.

Watermelon dripping down your chin … the smell of fresh cut grass … the sound of neighborhood children playing outside.

Summertime.

Drinking iced tea on the deck … gardens resplendent with beauty and color … long days and short nights.

Mosquito bites … sunburned noses … and flip-flops.

Glorious, glorious summertime.

My summer times have changed over the course of the past few years.  They are not as glorious as they used to be.

When I was a homeschool mom … we absolutely could not wait for the days of math and fractions and decimals to be over! We cheered when there were no more book reports due at the end of every week simply because it was summertime.  We were exceedingly grateful that the tiresome but beneficial schedule of 9:00 a.m. – 3 p.m. academic discipline was over for 90 too-good-to-be-true days.

During the magnificent and refreshing days of summer time, our homeschool family of 5 energetic kids, 2 relieved parents and 1 cocker spaniel went on long walks … played unending games of soccer or basketball in the backyard … ran through the sprinkler … designed crafts … had competitive games of Monopoly or Clue on the back porch … and enjoyed lunchtime picnics at the park.

How I loved the relaxed days of summer with those incredible McLeod offspring!

Then … when my children began leaving me to go to college (the nerve of those kids!) … I still treasured every moment that summertime brought because these wandering McLeod gene pools would come home. 

Home.  Is there a more beautiful word in the English language?!

For 12 wonderful weeks, McLeod progeny were all sleeping under my roof, eating my food, leaving their dirty laundry next to my overworked family washing machine and summer was back in all of its glory.

Glorious, glorious summertime.

But now, my children have all grown up.  Our three sons have started families of their own … one daughter will be married next week … and the youngest daughter is preparing for her senior year in college.

And summertime will never again be the same for this mama.

No member of the McLeod clan will ever come home again to bask in the glory of three months of uninterrupted summertime with mom and dad.

Where did those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer go?

When did wet bathing suits, those hot dogs from the grill and the perpetual odor of bug spray disappear?

Will summertime ever be glorious again?

For those of you who are still in the season of having a house full of kids during the months of June, July and August, may I just share with you some advice?  May I coach you as an older mom to a younger mom?

Enjoy every day. 

Find something to celebrate every day. 

Do not waste the delight that a summer day with your children brings.  These days of freedom and relaxation that only summertime produces are valuable treasures in the scrapbook of your heart.

Family Summer Activities

  • Go to the park and see who can swing the highest.
  • Buy an ice cream sandwich from the ice cream truck.
  • Have a sidewalk chalk drawing contest on the driveway.
  • Decorate the family bicycles and have a neighborhood parade.
  • Go to the zoo and talk to the animals.
  • Invite a family over for a cookout.  You provide the meat and ask them to provide the dessert.  Make it simple.
  • Play croquet … bad mitten … and soccer in the backyard.
  • Catch fireflies in jars.
  • Go see  fireworks.
  • Pick blueberries together and then make blueberry pie.
  • Have a rope jumping contest.
  • Read a chapter out loud from a book together every afternoon.
  • Participate in Vacation Bible School.
  • Teach your children patriotic songs … start with “You’re a Grand Old Flag!” … add “Yankee Doodle Dandy!” … then finish up with “God Bless America!”

Rainy Day Activities

Even during the summer there are thunderstorms … so here are some rainy day suggestions for summertime when the kids are home and bored:

  • Go to the library.
  • Make homemade cookies.
  • Have a movie marathon and eat popcorn and apples for dinner.
  • Write letters to grandparents.
  • Tape brown wrapping paper on the kitchen table and then trace everyone’s hands with markers. Write each person’s name underneath their hand and let them decorate their hands with glitter, paint and anything else you can find!
  • Have a picnic in the family room.
  • Listen to “Adventures in Odyssey”.
  • Skype with friends or family members who live far away.
  • Act out a Bible story.
  • Play charades.

No Regrets

The truth is this … September 1 will be here before you know it. 

Take it from a mom who knows.

The summer of 2015 will become a memory and the easy atmosphere of summer will be eclipsed by homework, science projects and falling leaves.

This summer will never come again so make it a good one.  No … let me say that again … make it a great one!  Make memories with your family that will be legendary in the years to come.

Embrace each day of summer as a gift.  Summer is the season when the foundation of family is established on the stability of togetherness, traditions and an abundance of time.

Let the delight of summer drip into your heart like a Popsicle on a hot summer day.

Let the memories of summer linger in your soul like a long summer evening on the back deck.

And look into the sunburned and freckled faces of the children that you have been given and take a mental picture of this day … this summer … this season.

Summertime.  Glorious, glorious summertime.