We’re in the August lull. I love it. Since my husband is a teacher who’s crazy busy from September through June, we spend a lot of July focused on productivity and around-the-house projects that don’t get enough attention during the year. As a homeschooling mama, I spent mid to late August prepping for the school year- ordering copies of material, scheduling field trips and classes, and organizing so that we can hit the ground running once we begin in September. I relish early August because it’s the downtime between coming down from the previous year and ramping up for the next. As I mulled over my blog for this week, many topics came to mind, and I actually started two other posts before realizing that oh, my goodness, it’s summer, who cares! What’s on my mind right now is downtime, sunshine, watching the clouds glide by, and cuddling with my babies. So, here are my random musings from August.
My little one loves to bake. For her birthday, a friend gave her a gluten-free cookbook for kids, and yesterday she woke up begging to make mini chocolate chip muffins. My first instinct was to say no- it’s too hot to bake, I don’t want a mess, let’s skip it. She persevered, though, promising to do all of the clean-up herself. Wouldn’t you know- she made the most delicious little muffins, and put away everything by herself. Woot!
We have a pool in our neighborhood, which is fortunate since my kids are little mermaids who love the water. Many leisurely afternoons are spent splashing around in the pool with their friends. At the beginning of the summer, the kids picked out a giant blow-up lobster, and he has accompanied us to the pool day after day. He’s too big to fit in the car, so our options are either shove him into the backseat and let his claws and tail hang out the windows as we drive, or creep up the street at 15 miles per hour as he sits on the roof, and the girls hang their arms out the window and hold down his limbs. This is where memories are made, people.
We grew a container garden on our deck this year, with great results. Zucchini, peppers, three kinds of tomatoes, cucumbers, and all kinds of herbs are snaked through the spindles of the deck. I assigned my kids the chore of taking care of the plants- every day, one of them takes a turn watering, checking for growth, and weeding. My older daughter really isn’t into it, but my little one is. She could spend hours examining peppers for color or twisting off little tomatoes and popping them into her mouth. The most fun has been eating our harvest almost immediately after picking it, and seeing their excitement as they tried a fresh-off-the-vine cucumber or amazingly sweet zucchini. Most every glass of water is filled with fresh mint leaves, and basil graces pizza and bowls of tomatoes on an almost-daily basis.
With the laid-back days of summer, family-time is a given. Whether we are chilling at my mother-in-law’s, visiting my grandparents in their assisted-living home, swimming with my squishy-cute nephew, hanging with my parents and sister on the deck, family time is cherished, and we’ll always take as much of it as we can get.
We try to hit the drive-in movie every summer. This year we went with friends, and I felt like it was 1950 as the kids cuddled in the back of my friend’s truck while we grown-ups sat in camping chairs and shared snacks. Awesome. We also hike and picnic throughout the Hudson Valley, spending at least one special evening at a favorite spot right on the Hudson River, where we eat and chill on a beautiful dock.
This was the summer of house projects- we ripped up carpet, put in a new floor, refinished and painted stairs, relocated our laundry room, and put together furniture. It creates chaos, but the end results are better organization, less clutter, and lots of opportunities for my kids to grab tools and help us improve our home while learning how to do something useful.
We’re there year-round, and take advantage of cool programs that local libraries hold over the summer. The kids have tie-dyed, touched and learned about exotic animals, examined banana DNA through library classes, and participated in the summer reading program. We’ve listened to books on CD, cuddled on a blanket and read aloud under the blue sky, and spent car trips delving into exciting new novels. It’s awesome.
There’s so much more to summer, but these are the moments that stand out right now. What are some of your favorite summer memories? Share below with our readers- maybe there are new traditions waiting to be discovered!