I remember, as a kid, that Summer break seemed to stretch on forever. I would spend most of my days riding bikes with the neighborhood kids and hanging out at our local swimming pool. The only camps I had were Vacation Bible School and Cheerleading Camp; and Summer break was 3 months long. Life was good.
I am now older, married, and have two very active boys. Their Summer break is 10 weeks and jammed packed with camps, sports, family reunions,graduations, and cookouts. This Summer we had an added bonus of reorganizing and preparing the school library for the upcoming school year.
I don’t want to come across as complaining. I know that I am incredibly blessed to have children; children who want to be involved in their community, church, and athletics. I just find my self asking:
Is this worth it? Are we filling our Summer break to the brim because it’s what our kids want and just a season of life? OR Are we doing these things because ‘it’s what everyone else does’?
Our school year is starting in 3 weeks, and I have been reflecting on our Summer. We, as a family, only had 2 weeks out of the 10 where we had nothing going on…..2 weeks.
Baseball was in full swing at the start of our Summer. Noah had his first year in Minor League and Nathan had started t-ball. It was a long season for Noah. He did not enjoy it, and even got to the point where he would be in tears before games because he didn’t want to go. We have a rule in this family “Once you start something, you finish it.” Needless to say, Noah has decided to give up baseball next year.
We then went right into Vacation Bible School and basketball camp….each lasting a week. Then came a children’s cooking class, and Noah had to do it because he wants to be a chef when he gets older.
Noah then went off to church camp for 4 days and then when he came home we had an annual benefit and a family reunion.
Now, next week starts Football Camp followed by practice and school…..
I tell myself that we are making memories for our children. They are learning discipline, endurance, being a team mate. They have grown in their relationships with the Lord and able to visit with family that they may only see once a year. All of these things are great, but there is also a downside.
We have hardly had any family meals together, financial strain with all these camp fees, irritability because we have to go go go, so we aren’t late!!
Where is the rest? Where is the quality family time where we are not distracted? Do I even know if my kids have enjoyed their Summer?
I know some of you reading this think “Welcome to adulthood!” “Welcome to parenting!”; and in part, I absolutely agree with you. I know this is a season of life. I just want to make sure that we are doing things for the right reason, double check our priorities, and putting the Lord and family first.
Noah and Nathan will only have one childhood…I want them to enjoy it.
By His grace,