Summer. It ushers in a time of slowing down from the routine of school, homework, and rigid bedtimes.
For me, summer means allowing somewhat flexible days with a little routine thrown in the mix. We love the many options of summer camps available, but my son, Harrison, wanted to make sure I didn’t over-schedule him because he needed time to relax.
I know this season doesn’t look the same for all of us, but I try to focus on the value of quality over quantity. I don’t want the thief of comparison to take away the joy of intentional moments I can have with my son.
Intentionality for me requires some planning because I don’t want our time to seem like we’re checking off a box. We sit down for breakfast and just talk. Reconnect. Go over our schedule for the day and discuss what’s coming up during the week. I may ask Harrison if there’s a particular meal he wants me to make for dinner. Usually, it alternates between spaghetti and lasagna. Or maybe a dessert he’d like me to whip up. (like making frozen cookie dough balls that he’d much rather eat raw than bake)
Other times, it might look like sitting next to Harrison on the couch while he plays video games. There are many times in the past when he’d asked me to sit and watch him play. I’d think to myself, “that seems like the biggest waste of time! Do you know all the things I have on my to-do list?”
But I realized Harrison simply wanted me in his presence. He wanted to show me what he likes and tell me about his interests. He can talk about the ins and outs of different games for hours. I’ve learned to be intentional means listening and asking questions, even if it’s not about things I have a particular interest in. Because it’s important to me that Harrison knows his mom cares about the things he cares about.
Recently, he asked if we could have a board game night and just play lots of different games. We had the best time! Harrison has also started looking through cookbooks with me, sharing his thoughts on different recipes and pictures, and asked if we could make some of them together. He’s been a fairly picky eater in the past but has gotten much better. The fact that he wants to try some different recipes and make them is absolutely miraculous! Who knew a sudden interest in cookbooks might make my picky eater more adventurous?
I’m investing with intention one of the most valuable things I have: my time. And I believe that investment will reap abundant rewards for me and my son.
Here are more articles on summertime motherhood: Sonja Smith