The house can wait. Savor short-lived summer.

Stephanie and Sara's kids enjoying summer

It’s  July… already.

My front lawn needs some serious pruning; my garage is in total shambles; we’ve spent the summer getting dressed out of laundry baskets; and I could probably knit a Dom Delouise-sized sweater out of the ball of dog hair under the dining room table (if I knew how to knit.) But it’s okay. It’s summer. And I’ve shown my kids a darn good time.  I’ve given them memories, and I’ve chased them around the backyard. I’ve left breakfast dishes on the table so we could meet our friends at the pool on time, and I’ve had a really good time at the ice cream parlor, even though I knew there was a ring in the toilet bowl back home.

I’ve taken them to “Shoot the Hooch” which means I’ve floated down the great Chattahoochee River with my ass hanging out of an inflatable inner tube. I’ve set up house for all the creatures that my son, the Great Hunter, bagged in the back yard. I’ve driven them to cheerleading practice three days a week; and all-star baseball practices, which occurred every night of the week, with tournaments on weekends. Sure, I’ve done my fair share of complaining along the way – but I got them there with their mounds of special shoes and equipment and sometimes even a snack and a Gatorade. We’ve bowled, we’ve eaten tubs of popcorn at the movies, we’ve fed deer and chipmunks at the petting zoo; and we’ve even made a few trips to the library.

Here in Georgia, our kids have only 8 weeks of summer, which means my kids go back to school on Aug. 3rd. We have just a few glorious days of summer left and there’s still so much we want to do! I encourage you to let the housework and the laundry slide and make some memories with your kids. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. Just be with them. Make water balloons, or get out your squirt guns or sprinkler and run around the back yard together. Let them help you cook or pack food for a picnic (kid-style, not Martha-style). Take them to a baseball game, or go for a bike ride together. Search the Internet for some fun, inexpensive crafts to make together. Soak up every precious summer moment. The house will always get dirty, over and over and over again. But there’s only one summer with your kids at the ages they are right now – and every age holds it’s own kind of magic and new activities. As Sara and I remind you in our book The Must-Have Mom Manual, your kids aren’t going to remember how clean your house was this summer, but they WILL remember the day you built a fort out of the cushions on your couch or floated down the river with your ass hanging out of an inner tube. So go have some fun!

Stephanie Triplett is the author of The Mommy Chronicles: Conversations Sharing the Comedy and Drama of Pregnancy and New Motherhood (Hay House, 2005) and The Must-Have Mom Manual (Ballantine/Random House, April 2009)


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