Summer’s almost over. I know it’s hard to tell, since we've only had warm weather for about a week, but yesterday, a friend heard the geese over her house. They certainly think it’s fall, and looking at the sky—and next week’s weather forecast—I can’t blame them.
I had intended this column to be about fitting in those last few local summer events that might not have made it onto your schedule. But I feel hard pressed to suggest that everyone head over to see The Princess Bride (the final ), when it’s supposed to rain next Wednesday.
Instead, I’m recommending a family meeting.
Get your family together for dinner some time in the next few days. Have communal food and talk. Your goal is to really feel out what each person needs to do in order to feel like he or she has really had a summer.
I did this with my daughter the other day. She had camp all this week, and next week we’re traveling to see relatives for Labor Day, so it felt like last week was the end of her true schedule-free summer. I said that Tuesday and Wednesday were entirely to be hers. She was the Julie of our Love Boat. I thought she’d say Wild Waves, or the outdoor movie, or the zoo.
Almost eight years, and I still seldom correctly predict her.
What she wanted was days at home. She woke up early both days, got dressed and walked her dog without complaint, and then vegged on the couch, watching tv and eating nectarines from the . When it got late enough that other kids were up, she got on her bike and rode around the neighborhood with them for hours and hours. She came home when it was getting dark, and asked for hot dogs, Doritos, and more nectarines. Then she played Plants Vs. Zombies on the Xbox with her dad until it was time for bed.
She said they were two perfect days.
Maybe your kid’s perfect day is different. Maybe it would be Elmo and dancing and Chuck E. Cheese. Maybe it’s the mall and you nowhere near.
Whatever it is, find out. And if it’s possible, try to give it to them.
The school year is long, and what they do then is their work. It takes time and energy and attention to cram all the things they’re absorbing into their little heads. (Also, the teachers expect them to learn educational stuff, too.)
This break is truly their vacation, no matter what the weather. Making one or two days exactly as they’d like it is a way to make this summer stand out in their minds. What a great thing to have fresh when they tell everyone what they did on vacation—their favorite things.
For the other days left, though, I do have my original notes for this column. If you’re local, get on your bikes and go to the right now.
If next week’s weather here makes you crazy, go east. It’s supposed to be beautiful in Chelan and Leavenworth, and they could use your tourist money in Cle Elum after that fire.
And if you stay here, be patient. The weather is supposed to turn pretty again on Friday, so Labor Day weekend should be great for hikes (Little Si and Twin Falls are common recommendations for families), trips to , or neighborhood barbeques.
Cram in that last bit of fun between and getting your sleep schedules back to sane hours. Make the most of these last days of summer.
It’ll be gone before you know it.
How are you making the most of summer before school starts? Tell us in the comments section below.