Yesterday marked the official beginning of summer. Now, it may be that you know exactly when summer begins because the kids are home from school or the light hits your garden just so or the tomatoes take on that amazing flavor that only comes with lazy, patient sunbathing. I will not attempt to rob you of your own personal first day of summer–in fact, I salute you for it–but the calendar reminds me that I’ve been wanting to talk with you about enjoying A Really Good Summer.
Please note I am not here to tell you how to make this summer your best one ever. Who needs that kind of pressure? All the same, it wouldn’t hurt to spend some energy thinking about fun stuff for the summer months. Here are a few ideas to help you get started. You’ll love sharing these activities with your children and grandchildren. They’re also great fun on your own.
First, enjoy what is yours. Do not covet your neighbor’s vacation plans. It might be great fun to take your kids and grandlittles on a six-week caravanning adventure through nine national parks. But wouldn’t it also be fun to take them to the local park with an awesome playground? Pack a picnic, bring a blanket or a few camp chairs, toss a bottle of bubble juice in the bag. (By the way, this outing is fun even if only grown-ups participate. Especially with the bubble juice.)
Attend a parade. Stand up when Old Glory passes. Cheer for the marching band. Wave at local celebrities as they pass. Take pictures. Send them to your faraway grandlittles and ask them to send you some pictures of their latest adventure.
Find a body of water, even if it’s a swimming pool or a big puddle. Go there. Get wet. Water is an intrinsic part of summer. Enjoy it.
Two words: Backyard camping.
S’mores and Skype. Ship a box of graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate bars to your faraway family. Make a date to connect via Skype, Google Hangout, FaceTime, or another favored miracle of technology. Fire up your respective grills and enjoy a laid-back evening of shared gooey goodness.
Read together. Read picture books to small children on the back deck. Revisit a chapter book classic together with your tween grandkids (what a fabulous excuse to read Narnia again!). Ask your adult grands (or children!) to pick a book for the two of you to read together. Chat regularly to discuss the book.
Make. Get a big mess of art supplies and let yourselves go. When was the last time you fingerpainted? Or twisted colored pipe cleaners together to make fantastical beings?
Stop the ice cream truck. Often.
We shine His light by living joyfully. Summer is a great time to gleam!
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 5:14-16 (ESV)