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Ahh, summer. I look forward to summer every year because it means down time. No more sports rehearsals, dance classes, music lessons, and homework. I know people who are on the go all summer, but not us. We laze about. We watch movies. We enjoy the down time. Because for us, September through May is busy every single day.

Three of my four children are involved in activities. Even two activities per child is six things every week, many of which I end up having to drag the rest of the crew along. Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, dance, basketball, soccer, band — it adds up quickly and is often overwhelming.

So during the dog days of summer we enjoy the air conditioning or the pool, we have days with nothing planned, days we stay in our pajamas all day and relax, because this is our big chance to be with one another.

Yes, the kids fight. Yes, they get on my nerves and watch too much television. But we play games. We cook. We nap. We make blanket forts and explore what’s in our own backyard. We get bored! Yes! We get bored and then come up with creative things to fill that boredom.

Our children are only children for a short time. Summer down time is a time to let kids be kids. To take the pressures of school and sports off their shoulders. It’s a time for personal renewal and growth.

In this hustle and bustle of life and work and having young children, it’s important to take time to slow down, to enjoy family, to have free time. Don’t be afraid of the nothingness of summer days. Enjoy them! You might end up making the best memories.

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