If I'm being honest, summer is my least favorite season. I'm not a fan of 90+ degree days with high humidity. I don't enjoy days on end with no sight of clouds or signs of rain. I don't function well without a schedule or a routine to keep me organized and motivated.
But, the one thing I really do like about summer is the creativity it requires from my boys. With no formal school work to do, classes to attend, or teams to participate on, my boys have lots of time on their hands and the words, "Mom, I don't have anything to do" don't work well in their favor. They know that once those words are said, they're handed a broom or a dust rag, given a book or a puzzle, or told to lay down and rest. Not fun ideas, they will tell you.
So when they're not in the mood to clean and they don't want to sit quietly with a book, they have to dig deep into their minds and come up with Plan B. It's interesting to see their temporary moments of boredom turn into massive fort building attempts, amazing Lego concoctions, or beautiful paint and glue creations.
And I stand back and smile. Being bored is a good thing, really. They decide being bored and whining is no fun compared to choosing to be buddies and create together.
But summer is also a time to relish in the impromptu opportunities to play with friends, eat popsicles and go swimming multiple times in one day, and enjoy the little or no cost fun that area businesses provide because kids are home. I have a friend who looks at each summer as an all-too-fast countdown to saying goodbye to her kids. "If my oldest is already nine years old, then I only have eight more summers until he leaves home. That's only eight more summers to cram in as much fun and memory-making things as I can!"
May and June have been extremely busy months for our family. Between a week at the beach, a week of Nature Camp, a week of VBS, a week with Grandma visiting, and a week of nonstop fun with friends while Grady and I were in Bolivia, there haven't been too many chances for my boys to remember what being bored is all about.
But, come July, that changes. Knock on wood, but my July calendar has more totally empty and blank days than it does scheduled days. Phew. My boys get to be bored and I get to take a breath and begin some lesson planning for the fall.
I still plan to enjoy free summer bowling, cheap $1 movies, BOGO mini golf, reading events at the library, and the circuit of pool hopping among friends. In between those things, though, I'll keep you posted on what creative things happen in our home because my boys are bored. Stay tuned.