When school started up in the fall, the first assignment elementary school teachers used to give was to write a paper about “What I did on my summer vacation”. I’m sure it was simply a way to get to know the new crop of students and to shake the rust off of our sun-baked brains. They probably could have cared less what we actually did.
As summer breaks from school get shorter and parental work schedules get tighter, I think we try to do “more” in less time. We parents often think about the summer trip without remembering the little activities. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for a summer vacation. I’m all for taking off and going to the beach, digging my toes in the sand and playing in the surf. It is a great excuse to take a break from work, play, nap and relax.
Still, sometimes I think we put too much emphasis on the things that don’t necessarily matter to make up for not emphasizing the things that do. We worry about making sure summer is memorable for our children, without making sure we spend time with them and help them experience life. My daughters have been to the beach a dozen times in their young lives and we are making another trip this summer. Yet, it occurs to me that they haven’t seen many of the things that I saw growing up close to home.