Summer: Crazy Daze

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Image courtesy of stockimages at freedigitalphotos.net

The crazy daze of summer is here again. The kids said good-bye to their teachers on May 23rd with excitement filling their every word, exuberance directing each of their actions. I anticipated relaxing mornings, with  unrushed quiet times, some blog time and a chatty breakfast with my wide-awake boys (about in that order).

Then, I remembered last summer. Which truly was a crazy daze. Our plans for those two-and-a-half months off school filled up almost every day. From early morning swim lessons, to vacation bible school, camps, vacation and life, almost every day had something scheduled in it. August 21st rolled around, and I felt like we hadn’t rested at all. There’s nothing quite so discouraging as heading into a new school year tired.

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Edmund and Peter, taken by Jeanne Takenaka

How did this happen? In the attempt to keep the boys active, I made lots of plans—for learning skills, like swimming—and for fun. As a mother of boy children, I’ve discovered tired boys equals a good night’s sleep for all. But, I ended up exhausted by the end of summer. An exhausted Mama Takenaka equals a short-tempered mama. This isn’t good for any of us.

Boys in wheeled swinging chair old time town

Peter and Edmund, taken by Jeanne Takenaka

This summer I hope head off the crazy daze and find a better balance between giving our guys fun activities to expend their boundless energy and “down time.” I’m not sure exactly what that will look like yet. I just know I don’t want to get to August 20th before I can really breathe deeply again.

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In a tractor bucket, taken by Jeanne Takenaka

My goal for this summer “break” is to make sure we have down time scheduled into every day possible. Some days will just be busy. But some days, I will keep open for the unexpected. Which may look like having a game day at home, a trip to the park and leftovers for dinner. I want this summer to be one where we build some fun memories in the every day-ness of summer break.

I certainly don’t have all the answers when it comes to making summer break a true “break.” I’d love to hear your thoughts.

What about you? How do you incorporate rest times into the crazy daze of summer? What do your summers look like?

P.S. If you’re a writer, and you’re interested, I’m blogging over at Seekerville today. Feel free to stop by!

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15 thoughts on “Summer: Crazy Daze

  1. Summers look like any other day, but hotter (our daughter isn’t in school yet). What I remember of my summers growing up was playing outside in the woods with my friends, playing on the slip-n-slide, just generally goofing off. I remember one particular hiking trip (just a day-trip) up in the Olympic Mountains – part of the hiking trail was across the face of a glacier. We had deer and other critters following us around at a distance. As we got older, summer meant fishing weekends just off the coast in the ocean (maybe a mile or two out).

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    • Wow, Gabe, what great memories! The Olympic Mountains are beautiful. And it sounds like you definitely got some adventure fixes. 🙂 I’m sure you will make some great memories with your daughter!

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  2. I read the great news at Seekerville and had to pop over. Congratulations on being named a Frasier finalist! I’m so happy for you, Jeanne! I hope your summer bring you and your family a few lazy days. 🙂

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  3. We always have that tricky balance too. I really love to leave open days for daydreaming and just messing around 🙂 And Congratulations on your Frazier Nomination!! I saw that last night. That is wonderful news!

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  4. My boys are young adults now and moving into new seasons of their lives. But when they were in school, I worked at home during the day, so we didn’t fill our days with activities. However, I’m so guilty of trying to fill our vacation time with lots of fun and learning activities to the point where they requested “we not have fun today and just chill out.”

    Downtime is so important in daily life as we need to take time to refresh and rest. I applaud you for making downtime important in your family life, Jeanne.

    Congrats again for your Frasier final!

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    • Thank you, Lisa. I love that your boys requested a “chill day” with no fun scheduled. 🙂 My honey and I are both schedulers by nature. We’re learning to leave room for spontaneity, and our guys appreciate it. The older I get, the more I realize the need for refreshing.

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  5. Man, I miss summer vacation so much! Haha. My husband and I always take a vacay though, and this year we’ll be hitting San Diego in August. I cannot wait!! Hope you get to relax a little this summer. 🙂

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    • I know, Lindsay. Things were so much simpler when school years and summer breaks boundaried my life. 🙂 We try to go somewhere with the boys each summer too. I love the time away, just the four of use, building memories. And I love San Diego! You guys will have a wonderful time!

      Relaxing is definitely in our plans for the summer. 😉

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  6. We intentionally don’t have vacations where every single day is packed. We have dear friends who literally hit the ground running every morning they’re away. We love them, but we think they are certifiable. One thing my husband does with our boys is take them fishing. There are secret spots where they’ve had after dark, fire pit, cook the fish right when you caught it feasts known as “shore lunches”. What else does a day on the lake with dad teach? How to relax, and how to talk.

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    • I love this, Jennifer. I love the traditions your husband has set up with your sons. WHat amazing memories they’ll take into adulthood with them! When we travel, we try not to cram too much into the days. Our kids like to have the freedom to play. Okay, what kid doesn’t? But we try to make sure they have that time at the hotel pool, at the beach or wherever we are. BTW, those are great lessons for your hubby to teach your boys!

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  7. Jeanne dear! Congratulations on the Frasier thing!! Now I have to go and research what exactly that is….:). Thanks for the concise and clearly written evaluation spreadsheet thoughts. Another proof that good writing is not only a God-given gift but a well-honed craft!

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