Summer is Coming!

May in Montreal vacillated between freezing and sweltering (ah, Canada!) but I have high hopes for June, and it's HERE! For the past several weeks every parent I end up chatting with wants to compare notes about summer plans, so I thought I'd sit down and write them out. I've already shared our plans for summer learning, but here's what else is (and isn't) in store.

Day camps are really popular where we live (they probably are everywhere), and our city has some really incredible options - Lego camp, camp at La Musee des Beaux Arts, camp at the Biodome, etc. But as of right now, we aren't doing any day camps for our crew. Why?

Mainly, we really want the summer months to be full of time together, not apart. Of course Brad will still be working full-time and I'll have writing and blogging contracts to keep on top of, but as far as the kids go, we want them to stay together. Day camps divide groups by age, meaning our kids would be apart all day, making summer no different than the school year. When they were at home with me it was easy, but now that Lily and Oli and both in school (and Chloe starts in September!) the kids don't see each other as much as we'd like during the school year.  I recently read a great article about forging sibling relationships by the simple strategy of lots and lots of time together, and I couldn't agree more. And ok, I also really don't want to keep packing lunches all summer long (and don't get me started on the cost of day camps for three kids!).

So with all three kids home all summer, what are we going to do with ourselves? They will each continue with their swimming lessons (which we've been doing weekly since they each turned three), and all three of them are confident bikers (Chloe still on a balance bike but the other two are on their second and third summers on two wheels) so we'll have lots of physical activity. We are planning to be at the local pool on every nice day, and on weekends, when the pool isn't free, we'll go splash pad hopping!

We're planning to be in Switzerland and Austria for three weeks as a family (read about how we got free flights here) and have a couple other road trips in the works, too. We've talked about visiting my sister in Toronto who is giving birth in June, we'll likely head over to Ottawa to visit friends and family at least once, we've booked three days in Charlevoix (remember last year!) and we just planned a road trip to PEI! I've been daydreaming about driving to PEI with the kids after reading Anne of Green Gables and my BFF Morgan has family there who have offered to host us! So Morgan and I and our combined five kids are renting a minivan and trekking out to PEI for a week while our hubbys hold down the fort!

I'm a planner (as you can tell!) so it's hard for me to just sit back and let summer roll over us and happen, but I know that's part of what makes it great, too. Sure the building blocks are in place - we have our travel dates set and swimming lessons aren't flexible, but I really want to set up our summer schedule so we can use our imaginations and be creative with our days. Is it too cloudy for the pool? Let's go to the lavender fields! Is it raining? Let's kill an afternoon at IKEA's ball pit! Do we have a few days with nothing planned? Let's go visit friends in Ottawa! I remember summers as wide open, free, lazy, and glorious, and that's what I want for our littles, too.

I read this years ago and it's always stayed with me: we only get 18 summers with our kids.

I don't share this quote to cause panic, but to give pause. These summer months are a rare time away from the burdens of school, and an opportunity for the kids to be with their siblings for weeks on end. These months are precious. Sure, our kids don't disappear from our lives after their 18th birthday, but just seeing that number and realizing how fast time flies, I'm more motivated than ever to provide a stress-free, memorable summer together as a family. We are already 1/3 of the way through Lily's 18 summers! I know there will be days when I'd give anything for some time off from being with the kids 24/7, but I am also so looking forward to these sweet months with them. 

1 comment:

  1. We aren't doing day camps either - same reasons - lunch, cost, plus all the ones rurally are at least 20 minutes away. Plus, I want to spend time with my babies and my babies to spend time with each other.
    Sounds like a great summer!!! Being in the country ours looks a little different - a lot more play dates, and time in the backyard in the sprinkler and on the trampoline. (You need a park in your back yard when you're far from the closest town... ha ha).

    I think about our kids growing up all the time. It's helps remind me to cherish this time, especially when I'm pulling my hair out (and expecting our 4th in October it's only going to get crazier!!). That's why I love that the school we enrolled our kids at is only part time (2 days for JK) (and 3 for SK).. it means I get a few more precious days every week with my babies!!!

    Love the blog! Have a fantastic summer :)