Summer fun list


Summer officially started last week, and school has only been out for two weeks, but why does it feel like the season is already halfway over?  I will admit that I have been dreading this season.  Having two little kids, no consistent childcare, and no lighter workload makes summer extra stressful rather than leisure-filled.  Add the fact that my husband will be away for half of the time and I have decided to approach Summer 2018 with low expectations.  Still, I am hoping to operate slightly above survival mode.  In the spirit of setting realistic goals, and taking a page out of Laura Vanderkam's book, here is my brief and simple summer fun list.

  • Master the short pool trip.  Our neighborhood has a community pool, and while I am not a pool person, my six-year-old is.  Since I also have an infant (and a low tolerance for the sun), long pool outings are hard, but short trips are very doable.  Going to the pool for just an hour is a great way for our older kid to burn off some energy, our younger to enjoy a change of scenery, and maybe even for me to read a chapter or two of a book.
  • Check out our local library offerings. Our library offers many story hours and craft days.  I spent an hour researching the different classes and locations and plan to take the kids to a few.  I have a hard time justifying the time spent getting everyone ready, making the drive, and finding parking (no easy task for our downtown library) for a thirty minute activity, but I must remember, the structure does us good.
  • Enjoy our CSA.  I confess we have missed more pickups this season than we have made, so we may let it go next summer.  All the more reason to enjoy it this summer!
  • Make ice cream. We have an ice cream maker, a nice one.  How many times have we made homemade ice cream?  Once.  It's not that hard, it's fun, and it's nice to customize our own vegan flavor.  I have a Pinterest board filled with ideas.
  • Eat on our deck. It has rained almost every day for the past two months, and that is not an exaggeration.  That, coupled with the lack of spring this year, means we have hardly used our deck.  I bought an adjustable tilting umbrella to shade our very sunny deck in hopes that we will have the occasional lunch or dinner out on our deck.
  • Embrace the 4 p.m. walk.  The time between 3 p.m. and dinner is my least favorite time of day, hands down.  Everyone is their crankiest, and it can feel like we are counting down the minutes until bedtime.  Loading the baby up into the stroller, leashing up the dog, and pulling along my daughter for a late afternoon walk has been a sanity savor.  I get a few extra steps in, we all get fresh air, and we pass the time until dinner.
  • Visit the Saturday farmer's market.  It's crowded, chaotic, and hot, but fun!  I love replenishing our kombucha supply and getting fresh berries.  The kids love getting involved in choosing our food, too.
  • Enjoy a donut.  We are getting a donut place in Charlottesville that makes vegan donuts (they are vegan by default, but some of the toppings make them non-vegan).  How fun for a summer morning!
  • Make the most of our herbs.  Thanks to all of the rain, our herbs are coming in quite nicely.  Bring on the pesto!

Call these small goals, but I think they are doable.  What's on your list?  Happy summer!

Emily Rowell Brown