No summers left for me. My kids have left the nest. The years went by so much faster than I ever imagined they would. Yet I remember all the special summers and things we did. Things seemed slower then. I particularly remember what was probably our largest summer trip. I spent a year planning it. The kids were only toddlers, the three of them aged 2, 4, and 6 years. I had planned a two-week driving trip in Germany and Austria for our little brood. It was the summer of 2002. I can still see the shock on Cullen’s face when a goat decided to charge at him at the fence, the wide-open mouth of my youngest as she came down the rodelbahn with her dad and the look of astonishment on my oldest daughter when we slept in a castle just like the princesses in her fairy tales. It was an incredible experience in so many ways. We continued to have summer trips, some small, some large, some abroad, and some in our own backyard throughout the years. Truly moments I will forever cherish.
So how many summers do you have left? How many summers have you taken that vacation? There are many reasons why you should not skip it. It doesn’t have to be far away or grand either to receive the gifts you get when you take time to vacation with your children before they are on their own. Here is a list of my top reasons to take that summer vacation with your kids before their 18 summers are gone.
Discover Something New- You don’t have to go far to try new things or even learn new things. I remember one summer with the kids where we actually were home, and I took boxes from the move and turned them into a make-believe airplane and suitcases. With help from books from the library, we traveled the world that summer in our very own backyard.
Appreciate The Ordinary- Something as simple as lying on your back looking up at the stars can so easily be achieved with a quick weekend camping trip. I remember several of ours that took us to Arkansas and to Kentucky areas not far out of Memphis, where we were living at the time. Nothing truly beats sitting by a fire with a marshmallow on the end of a stick.
Get Fully Submerged-When your adventure takes you away, get involved with the culture of the area. Join in a ritual or a dance. Learn some of the languages. Eat the foods they eat. Mingle with the locals. You and your children will be richer for it.
Be Silly-We are so serious when we are in our day-to-day. Work, school, and life’s mishaps. Vacations are the perfect time to let the laughs happen. And even better, catch it on film and in pictures. I can’t tell you how many photos we’ve gone back over to laugh at a moment in time.
Time is ticking. Summer is coming. Where will your vacations take you before your 18 are gone?