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 goals’ 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 I decided to take matters into my own hands and draw up a bucket list that only a mom could truly appreciate. This is what mine would include:
A Mother’s Summer Bucket List:
- Organize and color coordinate every family member’s closet, with children not only willingly helping but serenading you with traditional folk songs.
- Get the family to weed flower beds without having to raise your voice, bribe them with puppies, or threaten to cut off all use of YouTube and Instagram
- 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.)
- Have 24 hours go by without saying, “For the love of all that is good and holy please don’t _______________ again.”
- Never having to say, “No I don’t think it’s a good idea that you built a swimming pool in the front yard.” Again.
- Go a whole week without having to hear one of your darlings say, “I’m bored,” “I don’t want to,” or “But he likes it.”
- 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.
- Buy and/or make everybody’s Christmas gift. When Christmas time comes around, actually remember where you put the gifts.
- Make a whole dinner from the vegetables and herbs you grew in your garden. Extra star if anyone other than you eats it.
- When packing everyone’s suitcase for vacation, remember to pack underwear and socks.
- When you take the five-hour car trip to your vacation destination, ban all use of iPhones, iPads, Kindles, and other electronic devices so your children can actually spend quality time together bonding, just like you did as a kid.
- 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 your 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 the Dishwasher, June 29, 2014 under the title, A Mother’s Summer Bucket List. It has been slightly revised.