It’s that time of year again. Sleeping in. Keeping cool. Summer fun. You ready? Have you set some intentions for yourself? For how you want to feel? Do you like it freeform? Letting each day take on its own rhythm? Or do you like it planned? Systematic. And scheduled. Each day laid out with a plan from now until school starts again. Maybe you like it somewhere in between or a combination of the two;  alternating days or parts of day. Whatever way you like it, now’s the time to ask yourself “how do I like it?” and “what works for us?” And now’s the time too to discuss with your family, which way this family boat is going to sail.

With just 3 days left in the school year, and each of those days requiring our presence at school for a good portion of the day, we held a brief meeting this weekend. As parentals we made a short list of some things that felt imperative to us and presented them to the group – ready and open for discussing. Some of the highlights:

  • chores each day – in addition to the clean up of your own personal things (this included the discussion of “trail leaving” the moving from thing to activity to thing leaving a horrific trail in your wake)
  • Blitz every day – in our house we call a blitz for tidying up. We set the timer for 20 minutes and go! Until the timer rings. When a blitz is called it’s all hands on deck.
  • parameters around mealtimes – big windows but windows nonetheless. Breakfast is served until 9:00a.m. after that you’re on your own. Snacks are reasonable and smart. Clean up your own mess and bus your own table.
  • Sleepovers are a luxury not a weekly obligation. And they will not happen on the fly. I know this works for some households but wow, it does not work for me. It makes me feel completely wonky and unnerved.
  • Everyone should have a project going – make, create, carve, sew, build, write something. Whatever it is, make something.
  • Swim everyday. I don’t need to instruct them of this, I just need to reassure them that it will indeed happen.

In addition to the household rules and intentions, we are going to dig out our family appreciation banner. With everyone back under one roof it’s easy to let the tones get harsh and the appreciations fall by the wayside. And appreciations can really amp up the love. Really. You should try it in whatever form you can.

I love summer. I love having everyone home. But the learning curve feels new each year and requires a little patience too. Every single year.