Raising kids on the Jersey shore, where the day can change from sunny to GRAB THE FOOD and RUN FOR THE CAR in a matter of minutes, planning out our summertime activities really depends upon the weather – not to mention, my willingness to battle the shore traffic – so, I’ve learned to NOT make any definite plans.
Give a kid a patch of grass, a sprinkler, some dish soap and a couple of bubble wands: you’ve got yourself a summertime party and plenty of picture-frame-worthy moments, right in your own backyard, my friend.
My husband still jokes with me about my ability to make playing with a box of rocks sound like lots of fun. I will admit, having had a kid in diapers for 10 consecutive years, I just sort of learned to grow used to “winging it,” day-to-day.
Raising 3 teens and 1 teen by proxy (she’s almost-12) I can’t help but feel as if our days of spending any amount of time together (as a family) are truly numbered and, unlike their clothes, it’s refreshing to hear each of my kids confess to not having outgrown some of their favorite childhood memories, like:
- Throwing a couple of fishing lines into the bay and watching as the current teases my kids into thinking that we’re actually going to have fish for dinner.
- Hiking into the woods and searching for treasure – a twisted shell, an old bottle cap and whatever else we can fit into a pint-sized baggie.
- Answering the age old question, “Just where DOES that path lead to, anyways?”
Then there are the summer nights: when we can gather around the fire pit, roast a couple of marshmallows, hot dogs, or whatever else you can fit on a stick, and simply enjoy each other’s company.
As parents of teens, my husband and I have learned to treasure these moments of togetherness, which is what the Together Counts program is all about. We feel blessed to be able to just relax and listen to our kids laugh with each other during family activities; usually at our expense, but we’re okay with it.
For more family activity ideas check out these additional resources from The Together CountsTM program:
Liz started blogging at This Full House in 2003 (when blogging was still in diapers) to connect with other parents, share stories and feel a little less disconnected with life outside her front door, beyond all the dust bunnies and diapers. She continues to enjoy writing about the trials and tribulations of raising four children, a rambunctious lab named Rudolph (a.k.a. Doofus-Dawg) a delinquent cat and killer dust bunnies.