Time to build the summer wish list
Lynn Taylor Schwaab
Updated: May 31, 2012 11:24AM
The school year is winding down, and summer is almost here. I can’t believe it. Where did the time go? Where did the year go? Didn’t school just start? Wasn’t I just shopping for Christmas gifts?
I guess it’s true what they say: the older you get, the faster time goes by.
June is just around the corner, and it is already booked due to my children’s activities, sports and camps. They have almost no free time.
How did this happen? The summer is supposed to be their vacation. Remember that song, “School’s Out for Summer.” That meant fun and freedom. I certainly don’t remember being that busy growing up or having sports start at such an early age.
Sure, I did a few sports and activities, but nothing like the kids of this generation. It’s absolutely crazy.
I had to do something about it. So about five years ago, a family tradition began in my household. My son really started it and then my daughter joined him a few years later.
At the end of the school year, my children write out their summer To-Do lists. The list consists of 15-20 things that they want to do or places they want to go during the summer. It can be big or small. It doesn’t matter. It’s their wish list for summer.
A check mark goes after the line item when it is done. My daughter, however, puts a small box before each number on her list. That’s where she likes to put her check marks. She’s a little more organized than my son.
Why did we start this? In the blink of an eye, the summer would be over and school would start. The night before the first day of school, we would sit at the kitchen table wishing we had done this and that over the summer. Nobody was happy.
By having it in writing and displayed for all of us to see, it reminded us of what summer was all about: fun and good times for the whole family.
Here are some of the items that were on their lists in the previous years: White Sox game, golf with dad, Grandma’s beach house, hang at the pool, visit friends in California, Lincoln Park Zoo (yes, my kids still like going to their old zoo and to their old neighborhood), fireworks, Disney, Navy Pier, Bears training camp, movies, shopping (that would be for my daughter and I), and Dairy Queen (would someone please open up a DQ in our town).
Speaking of Dairy Queen, one year my daughter had on her list to take her Uncle Brad to DQ. She ended up doing it and treating him, too.
We normally can’t do everything on their lists, and they understand that. Remember, it’s a wish list. However, a good percentage of it does get done. And when school starts, we look at the list and feel great that we got to do so many fun things over the summer with no regrets.
Lynn Taylor Schwaab is a resident of LaGrange Park.