There are just a few days of school left and we have been dreaming about summer! I’ve always been a wanderer. I guess that’s what brought me across the ocean from Romania to this part of the world some years ago. I think my desire to go, see, and do has bumped up a notch since having kids. My oldest, Alex, is five now and I remember our pace being a little slower when he was just a baby. I got the sense that things would be a bit different as he got older and we would be able to do more. He grew up in no time and a whole new array of options seemed to open up. His younger sister, Norah, joined us not lon after that, but there was no more wandering around the streets of DC just to kill time with a sleeping baby. The double stroller had a toddler leading the way, ready to go somewhere.
The school year creates several natural rhythms for our family. In the summer, as parents, we are responsible for additional rhythms (and hours!). Summer sets the stage for the great balancing act between planned activities versus spontaneous days with no agenda; frequenting our regular spots versus finding new things to do. As you think about your summer plan, here are a few things to consider:
Try something new.
I check blogs and coupon sites regularly to expand our repertoire, and I have unintentionally become a resource to parents looking for new ideas. I like to be on the go and find new spots! So as you are mapping out your days, consider trying to visit one place you have never been each week. If you don't plan ahead you will end up at all the same places. Make a list as a family and put some of the new places on your calendar.
Tell your family story.
What I like the most about the outings we take, are the fun memories my family is making together. Our own story is woven together by these adventures, so like any eager parent, I make sure to document them. Kids absolutely love flipping through the yearly albums I put together in Picaboo and reminiscing of our times together. Other families I know make an annual picture calendar or print pictures along the way and fill a wall in the house! Find a way to preserve the story and save your memories!
Invite others into your story.
Our memories are shared with many friends. When you share an experience with others it’s like a multiplier in relationship. Some of our closest friends live in our neighborhood. We have intentionally approached them and invited them to join us for lunch or an afternoon adventure. I remember how a simple hello at the playground turned into a great conversation with one mom. That conversation turned into playdates at each other's homes, that turned into dinners together, outings with kids, birthday parties and fun memories. She's one of my closest friends now. I am fascinated to see how simple steps can have such long lasting, beautiful effect on our lives.
So, pack some snacks and drinks, check the metro schedule, and get out the door to make some memorable moments with your family and friends this summer!
* If you are local, here are a few of my favorite spots.
Felicia grew up in Romania but came to the States to attend a Christian college, just outside Philadelphia. She's been living in DC for ten years now and enjoys raising her kids here. What she likes most is cooking, having people over and sitting around the table sharing stories and making memories together. Felicia also enjoys running, traveling, photography, arts and dark chocolate. Not necessarily in that order.