I am a planner.
I research, crowdsource, and then compare some more. So when I started to map out our summer, I grabbed our giant calendar and wrote in our camping trip, our vacation to see family plus some festival dates. I scribbled in my older son’s summer school schedule, then our birthday parties and soccer tournaments and I stood back to take a look. Wow! We had 82 days of summer and over half of them were already filled!
Immediately, I felt the pressure to fill in our family’s summer bucket list.
Let’s pick a day for Jetty Island!
The Fremont Troll!
Hike to Franklin Falls!
Picnic and kayak at Port Defiance Park!
But then I looked over at my kids wrestling for the foam football on the floor and I stopped myself.
My kids are older now (Alex is 14, Nicole is 12 and Michael is 9) and I realized it was time to turn summer planning over to the stakeholders.
I gave each of them a sheet of paper with this title:
The Top 5 Things I Want To Do For An Amazing Summer!
Alex wrote what I expected: play family soccer, play Fifa on the Xbox, play soccer on the beach, watch YouTube videos for new soccer tricks, play soccer with my friends (this kid has laser focus!)
Nicole is my girly girl. She wants to go to the mall and sample stuff at Sephora, enjoy a back-to-school shopping expedition to find the best sales, do more DIY’s, have family craft days, and take tons of selfies.
Michael surprised me the most. His list was very specific and measurable. He wants to go to five new parks. He wants to visit the new Sammamish YMCA swimming pool. Take a trip to Wild Waves with our family. Sleep in our treehouse two nights. Play soccer with Alex fifty times.
After 14 years of planning for them, packing for them, and nudging them through my plans, I felt euphoric as I realized they know what makes them happy and they can contribute to filling those other days.
This summer, I will do my best to get to Jetty Island and Port Defiance Park because we will all love it. But we can also play family soccer at a park and stop for ice cream and all my kids will think that is a perfect summer day too!