Every summer, I vow to make a summertime bucket list with my family.
Have you ever seen one of these? They're a list of ideas to spark a summer full of enjoyment and learning.
They can be as ambitious as a trip abroad, as fun as a day at the zoo or as simple as a campout in the backyard. Maybe there's a series of books you would like to read as a family. You could try every flavor of ice cream at Baskin Robbins or Ben & Jerry's. The budget and scope are less important than getting your family to set goals for the summer and accomplish each one.
I am hoping that this is the year we finally draw up our family list.
But just in case we fail to accomplish this, again, I decided to take matters into my own hands and draw up a bucket list that only a mom could truly appreciate. I might even laminate it and get myself some very cool stars to mark each one accomplished!
A Mother's Summer Bucket List:
1. Organize and color-coordinate every family member's closet, with children not only willingly helping, but serenading me with traditional folk songs.
2. Get the family to weed flower beds without having to raise my voice, bribe them with puppies or threaten to cut off all use of YouTube and Instagram.
3. Hear the kids say, "Mom, relax and read a book. We'll put sunblock on each other." Extra star if this happens and no sibling injuries occur.
4. Have 24 hours go by without saying, "For the love of all that is good and holy please don't __________ again."
5. Never having to say, "No, I don't think it's a good idea for you to build a swimming pool in the front yard."
6. Go a whole week without having to hear one of my darlings say, "I'm bored," "I don't want to," or "But he likes it."
7. Spend a rainy day at the movies. See the whole movie without anyone throwing up or needing 10 bathroom breaks. Extra star if we leave the theater with more popcorn in our stomachs than on the floor.
8. Buy and/or make everybody's Christmas gift. When Christmas time comes around, actually remember where I put the gifts.
9. Make a whole dinner from the vegetables and herbs I grew in the garden garden. Extra star if anyone other than me eats it.
10. When packing everyone's suitcase for vacation, remember to pack underwear and socks.
11. When I take the five-hour car trip to my vacation destination, I'll ban all use of iPhones, iPads, Kindles and other electronic devices so my children can actually spend quality time together bonding, just like I did as a kid.
12. After 30 minutes of said "bonding," pull the car over and get everyone's electronic devices from the trunk and beg them to play a game, any game. Take two Extra Strength Excedrin, and remember there was a reason my parents always looked so tired after those "great" car trips of your youth.
Each time you want to wish the summer away, remind yourself that it goes by all too fast, and one day, you will miss every gray-hair-inducing minute of your kids' childhood.
This piece was previously published on Kathy's blog, My dishwasher's possessed!