Summer is here and many Moms may find themselves wondering what to do for vacation. For me, its memories of my own summers as a child that definitely impact how I view these 11 weeks and how we plan to spend them. With three children who are active athletes, our summer calendar is actually full with something most every single day from now until the week of August 8th. I’m really not joking. So I have to take a step back and ask myself “Is this what our children really want to do?” “Will they remember these summers with joy, having spent them with their friends and teammates, learning new things, going new places, and growing themselves as the athletes they want to be?” ”Will they miss having days with nothing to do or are they old enough that doing what they want means something to do?” I struggle with these questions as the Mom in me simply wants to go to the beach. For the summer. For all 11 weeks of it and spend our days in the surf and sand, flying kits, playing bocci, and yes, having an occasionally cocktail at 5 o’clock. But we don’t live at the beach during the summer or any other time of year. This will change by the time I retire though. I”m all over being the cool grandma with the beach house everyone comes to for holidays, summer, and more.
Our summer weekends are a sprinkling of tennis and baseball tournaments through June, our weeknights are a blur of swim meets, tennis practices, and baseball games through July, and our days are an artful dance of flexibility with one or some of the following: learning, hanging with friends, local visits to museums, the library, parks, or wherever we feel like we’d like to explore, and down time at home. So I’m left to ask myself if this is enough? Is it enough for your summer to be full of activities and fun your child asks for while in elementary and high school? Will those memories define their summers as so very awesome they’ll do everything they can to recreate them for their own children some day?
That is what I’m doing. I did not grow up taking an annual family vacation during the summer or any other time of year. My parents had modest resources and four children close together so a family vacation was a luxury. We took our first real family vacation in the August before 4th grade. We drove from Cincinnati, Ohio to Longboat Key, Florida and roundtrip we were gone for almost 2 weeks. I think my Dad slept for half of it, so happy to be free of any responsibility. I loved everything about that vacation and the 2 others that followed in future years. Every other year until we moved to Nebraska, we’d travel back in August, go to the same condo complex, and spend our days in the hot August sun, gathering sand dollars at dusk on our evening walk, and even weathering a tropical storm one year getting stranded on the island for a few days. After all, that’s what happens when you go to Florida during Hurricane season. It was amazing and defined what summer vacation means to me.
For my children, this happens at Wrightsville Beach, NC. It has become their favorite simply because we’ve been able to visit three times in seven years for a long weekend during the summer and ifs full of reliable waves and my athletes like to surf. We shared time with close friends last year over 4th of July weekend and the kids have been begging to return again this year. I’m working on it, but between travel for both my husband and myself, their schedules and just finding an available spot, its looking like late August has our name on it and then, I can truly say that somehow against all my efforts, I have become my mother.
This spring I was honored to attend the 2012 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. While there, we had the opportunity to learn from Disney Cast Members about The State of the Family Vacation. Take a look at what families just like mine and yours had to say about being able to take time away and truly relax:
I am blessed to travel for my work and to attend events where my children have been welcome. I am amazed that they have been to Walt Disney World as young children because I didn’t go until I was 17, one last trip to LongBoat Key that included a day trip to Orlando. My dad was frugal, no extra hotel stays when you can drive 2 hours compared to the more than 20 it took to get there. So tell me…
How are you shaping your children’s memories of summer?
Do they include Disney World?
Thanks so much for stopping by ~ we’ll see you next time!
Disclosure: Thanks to Disney Social Media for inviting me to attend Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. As part of my paid registration, I received for myself and my family discounted hotel accommodations, park tickets, attendance at special events, and branded merchandise. I was not asked to post about this event at any time. My opinions are entirely my own.
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