How to Have an Intentional Summer

Written by: Amy Dalke 

One week from today, the 2013-2014 school year will be a memory.

This is Luke’s “official” First Day of School picture from last fall:

Luke_first day of 2nd grade

I think it’s safe to say he will be delighted for summer to begin.

This time around, summer will have a different landscape in the Dalke house.

Luke and I haven’t been together for a string of days this long since my maternity leave after he was born; so I’ve been thinking a lot about what this summer will be like for the two of us.

Mostly because I’m afraid I will go crazy.

I never thought I would worry that a child would interfere with my Hobby Lobby excursions. You know, because there’s only so many times I can drag Luke into that store before he starts a mutiny.

(The fact that I’m concerned Luke will interfere with my love affair with Hobby Lobby is sort of telling.) (Suffice it to say that Larry will be thankful for this intervention.)

(Everything about those last two sentences astounds me.)

Nonetheless, a summer of full-time togetherness will be a new thing for us.

…and despite my sarcasm, I am looking forward to it.

I am determined that I won’t look back on this summer, with regrets that I didn’t make the most of this time with him.

Being the Type A’er that I am, I came up with a list of three things Luke and I will do together. (I limited it to three, because frankly, I’m a realist.)

And I’m not trying to win a Perfect Summer Mom award or anything; this is simply my attempt to mindfully soak in as much of Luke’s childhood as I can.

Incidentally, I recently mentioned to Luke that he and I will be BFF this summer. His response was: “Why do you have to be so awkward, Mom?”

(Clearly he’s just as excited as I am.)

My list isn’t just meant for moms who are home all day. Whether this stuff happens during the daytime, or after work, doesn’t matter.

But they won’t just happen on accident. You have to make them happen on purpose. 

So here goes:

  1. We will play together. 

I’ve spent too much time on my laptop, while Luke plays in the background. Sometimes I did I this with the justification that “at least we are together”; but Luke wasn’t fooled.

How much do we miss when we don’t engage with our kids…when we sit by the pool with a book, instead of actually jumping in with them? It won’t hurt to unload the dishwasher later, so you can spend ten minutes playing catch. (I’m preaching to myself, people.)

While no mom can maintain sanity by paying attention to their offspring 24/7, I will choose to set my to-do list aside whenever possible, so that I can focus on Luke.

  1. We will take “field trips” together. 

No, I’m not talking about going to the museum. Because I’m really not cultured enough to care. When I say field trips, I’m talking about playing catch at the park (as opposed to our backyard), hanging out at a water park for the day, going to the movies, or going to one of those painting places.

(Although, hello, both of us tend to have a love/hate thing with these places…because one of us inevitably throws a tantrum when we mess up our masterpiece by painting outside the lines.) (I really can’t deny the source of his obsessive genes.)

I want to purposefully do things like this, because having a couple of lazy days is great; but memory-making potential is higher when you’re focused on an activity…not the television.

  1. We will do Bible study together. 

I am not talking about hours of biblical research, followed by tests or Bible drills. (Come on, I can keep his attention for about seven minutes!)

So I’ve chosen a study called Walking in Truth, that takes fifteen minutes max.

We have already done two of these lessons, and he actually enjoyed it. (Which is saying a lot, since he typically turns his nose up at anything that has a cartoonish element.) (Given that he’s eight years old and all…and you know, way too cool for kid things.)

Knowing my child’s tendency to be anti-anything-his-mom-thinks-is-awesome, I tread lightly through these parts. The last thing I want to do is make studying the Bible dreadful; and my motive isn’t to turn Luke into a Memory Verse Machine, spouting off scripture as he tattles on his friends.

I just want to get truth into him…little bits at a time.

Because I’m not interested in raising a rule follower; but I do want to raise a young man who lives by principles of truth. 

There you have it: My Purposeful Summer List.

I’ll be sure to give you an update in a couple of weeks. (Because we all know that when the new wears off, it’s harder to stay the course.)

(Unless it’s something fun, like reading the Bible with your mom.)





One thought on “How to Have an Intentional Summer

  1. I know you and Luke (and Larry) will have a super summer! I know he will still be involved with baseball. You can tell he loves it. I’m having trouble typing, I need to have my nails is even hard to hit the right numbers on the phone!! I’m glad that Larry has so much leave time from work, so the three of you can enjoy each other while you fix your plans with Luke. It’s hard to believe that Luke has grown so much since he started to school last year. Kay is having surgery today. The were going to first do a colonoscopy. She had so much pain at the last tournament and went to the doctor that Kristi recommended. They did a some tests and found that she had an ulcer on the opening of her small intestent, She had to take medicine until now. Prayfully the colonoscopy will not show any problems. The surgery will consist of making the small intestinent larger. The ulcer should be healed and they are going to enlarge the opening to the colon where the ulcer was. Bill has been so worried, he told me yesterday that he was worried about cancer. I told him that the tests should have shown if there was a problem. Keep them on your prayer list. Kay should be able to come home this evening. It’s supposed to be “out patient” God forbid any serious problem. If there is, I will let you know. Kay had told me she didn’t want anyone to know, but I’m assuming that she meant anyone here. I will keep you posted. My love Mother, GMA and Mom Dalke (Wow,I have three titless!!)

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