The Doin’ It Summer

I kind of have a thing for lobsters

Spring has always been my favorite season, but that’s really only because it’s the precursor to summer. In my twisted psyche, I can’t say summer is my favorite because I won’t start enjoying it until mid-June’s summer solstice, and then it’s over in just a few short months. I guess I can compare it to loving to travel — during a long car ride to a destination or checking luggage at the airport, my mind is filled with visions of how great the location and ensuing days of leisure will be.

As is usually the case, we don’t have much planned for this summer. There’s a week’s vacation on Cape Cod in August with extended family that will most definitely be amazing, but other than that, we’ll be creating our own summer magic as it comes to us.

This is the first year my girls won’t be attending our town’s half-day camp for the month of July. Once school let out they were presented with a lot of free time. But the glorious weather conditions we had been waiting for since last autumn were completely lost on them as they preferred spending the majority of time in their room looking at the 5-inch screens of their phones. The shades were often still down and I’m fairly certain it was making me clinically depressed.

“Let’s go,” I said.

{in unison, without looking up from their phones} “Go where?”

“I don’t know, but we’re going. Figure it out. Where do you want to go? I’m not staying here – it’s amazing outside. Let’s do something.” This wasn’t optional.

Typically I’m more of a planner, thinking I require 24 hours notice of any type of outing, but off the top of my head I presented them with four different options. One reluctantly agreed she’d do one, the other reluctantly agreed she’d do another. At this point I may or may not have flipped out a little called one or both of my ‘tweens a pain in the ass. But, may or may not having done that aside, I caught myself and came up with this gem: “Each of you take a small piece of paper and write down two things you’d be willing to do right now – I’m going to pull one and that’s what we’re doing. Go.”

They did it. And I pulled “Boston.” And we went to Boston. (For the record, we’re in a suburb maybe thirty minutes away — it’s not like we had to hop a plane.) We had a great time because there was no agenda. We hit traffic and it didn’t matter. We strolled Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market. We watched street performers and window shopped and I let them lead the way wherever we went. They chose to eat at Dick’s Last Resort because they liked the large hand made paper hats the patrons were wearing. It was fantastic because, if you’ve never been to Dick’s Last Resort, the staff are intentionally obnoxious and rude, and the waiter won their sardonic hearts with “Here’s your drinks, losers.” By the time we left both girls wanted to know how old they had to be to work there. My sarcastic babies make me so proud… sniff…

At the girls’ request – because they ended up loving this – we will continue with the bowl of ‘Summer Ideas’ (as my very organized daughter so neatly labeled it) so that we can continue to fill it with potential trips when the opportunity presents itself. Come September, I refuse to look back on this summer and regret letting these long, beautiful days go to waste. There have been so many times in the past when I’ve not acted fast enough, or thought I needed more time to plan, or involve more people. But I’m taking charge and when an activity, an idea, an outing is available, we’re doin’ it.

Now I have to go because I just signed my daughter and I up for a 5K that starts in an hour. #doinit