Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Time Flies Whether You’re Having Fun or Not

The “lazy days of summer” can be the busiest time of the year for those of us with children. It always amazed me how busy we became as soon as school got out - and how fast those summer days flew by.

It seems that within minutes of celebrating the last day of school, it’s time to start planning for the first day of the next year. Do I need to tell you we’re about two-thirds through 2013? Ditto for the summer of 2013 – we have just that last third to sweat through. August is when summer camps end, vacations happen, and back to school supplies are in every aisle of every store you visit. 

So if you’re wondering where the time goes, just remember for this last part of summer: “Time flies whether you are having fun or not.”

Despite the hectic pace, I love summer. I really enjoyed all the activities my children were involved in over the years. Summer swim team was always a big activity in our house. Practices five days a week and Saturday swim meets kept us going for that first two-thirds of the summer. Our swim team was our extended summer family with special swim team cookouts and trips.

A summer tradition for our family – one that goes back generations – is homemade ice cream.
When we were kids, both my husband’s family and my family made homemade ice cream in those great “old fashioned” (they were state of the art at the time, mind you) ice cream freezers. Listening to that freezer groaning and grinding against the ice was the epitome of anticipation. There was nothing better than when that freezer would come to a stop – and you’d get to dig in. Hopefully having a shot at licking the paddle….

The flavor of homemade ice cream still takes us back to those happy days. We’re sure those new-fangled electric freezers, quiet as they are, still get the job done. In any case, if you don’t have time to crank out your own, you can visit one of the great local shops in Kristine Denholm’s article, Cool Treats on page 10.

Our biggest and best summer “fun” tradition was our family vacation every August. One of my fondest memories was the year we drove to Niagara Falls, on to Toronto, then back through Connecticut and New York and home to Washington, DC. Even with all the sights we saw, my kids’ favorite part was the two hours we spent body surfing in Atlantic City. I have to admit, that I kind of agreed with them - both mom and dad had been in the water with them, and we had a great time!

You don’t have to trek to Atlantic City for water fun, there are some great water adventures closer to home.
You can read Sarah Grosjean’s article about parks, spray-grounds, beaches and other aquatic facilities in the DC area on page 14. You can also visit our website for a much longer list of water fun!

Creating meaningful summer memories doesn’t always have to mean a grand vacation or planned activities. Spending one-on-one engaged time with your children will be what your kids remember. Those are the important memories no matter how much they talk about the beach adventure. Time is more important than anything you can buy or give them. The value of your time is priceless.

My one-on-one kid time has now made it into the next generation - I have a week planned the beginning of this month with my granddaughter and her best friend. We are visiting the new penguin exhibit at Sea World and going jet skiing. I am sure a lot of eating and swimming will be involved, but I love just being with this great kid and getting to know her even better. It will be a lot of fun for all of us. And, when she leaves to go back home for her own back-to-school, I’ll be sure to bake her some cookies to take along.

Those of us who have done the first kindergarten drop off know how fast time flies – so this last third of summer, this hot month of August is precious. Just be sure you’re really “there” with your kids so you actually see them grow up so fast.

As they say, “Time flies whether you are having fun or not.” May your summer and your years with your kids be filled with great times that make wonderful memories!

‘Til September and our annual EDUCATION Guide.

Happy Parenting,