School’s Out and Summer Is Your Reward

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summer is for grownups

You’ve survived the school year! Schools out! Welcome Summer! Um, no…not you, kids. Step to the side, please. I’m talking to the adults in the room.

If the last few months were anything like mine, take a seat and breathe. Congratulations on surviving! I cannot tell you where the time went or how we accomplished the delicate balance of the overwhelming schedule, though apparently we did it. Can’t say how successful we were, but at least it is over! 

This is especially true if you have children in elementary school. There are countless end of the year celebrations – so much so that they can’t all fit into the month of June. They actually start in May! Thankfully, they are all positive events celebrating the accomplishments of the children, like orchestra and band concerts, art shows, and end of the year celebrations. And if you have a child graduating from a school (excuse me, I mean “moving up”  – c’mon, really?) you get double the fun – moving up ceremonies, award nights, dances, parties and senior trips.

Of course most of these aren’t for the parents – yet, most of the prep is, including transportation to and from. Not to mention extra-curriculars and community events, such as a town carnival, which apparently you can’t just go to one time. I am quite glad that my children are able to experience it all…but so very little down time…until now! 

But now it’s officially summer. It’s time for us to unwind, even if just a bit. Take a step back from the rat-race. Seriously, summer is not just for the kids. It’s for us too! 

June Craziness Leads to Summer Fun

Who said the kids get to have all the fun during the summer? Forget the kids! Well, don’t “forget” them….but what I mean is that they already have the no school/no homework thing. What about us parents? Sure, the majority of us have full-time jobs, yet we are completely and utterly allowed to get our summer vibes on too – and carry them all through the next two months.  

Hit the water:

A beach day, swimming pools and water parks all basically scream summer.  ‘m lucky enough to have a pool nearby and each summer I tell myself to spend an hour a day there. I have yet to fulfill my own plan, but I do get a lunch break and this pool closes at 7:00 p.m. Weather dependent, I must aim to complete this mission! 

Or hit the beach for a bit.  Some town beaches aren’t too far or too pricey. Relax with a magazine or juicy novel, but don’t go home without some kids play, like building a sandcastle or collecting seashells.  Head to a water park –  and avoid just being the chauffeur and chaperone to the water parks – go on rides too! Hey, if all else fails – surprise the kids with a water balloon fight.

Easy Meals: 

Who likes to work over a hot stove and make a hot meal on hazy and humid evening? How about something like summer fruits and cottage cheese or shrimp cocktails, instead? Or salads galore – green salads, pasta salads, tuna salads. Keep it easy and lite. If you must do the hot meal, there is always grilling if you can – pretty much anything can be thrown on that barbecue. Also, ice cream is an approved summer meal. 

Play!: 

Again, not only for the offspring! Have a catch, frisbee, disc golf, mini-golf, fly a kite, biking and many, many others. 

People Watching: 

This is totally a thing. I love when the warm weather starts because people seem to come out the woodwork! After the intensity of the school year, they emerge from their homes and you start to see people again. It’s pretty incredible when you see how much your neighborhood kids grow after hibernating all winter!

Vitamin D:  

Doctor’s orders, right? Well, to a certain extent (don’t forget the sunscreen). The warm weather, the sunshine and ability to stay outside without worrying about frostbite. Working outdoors is a nice change sometimes too.

Late Nights Outdoors: 

During the week! On a work night! (Blasphemy!). Watch the sunset and don’t head inside until the sun is completely down. Watching the kids catch fireflies is heartwarming and so simple. (PS. You can do this too!). Listen to some music and lie outside and stare at the stars.

Socialize: 

Take some time to see friends and family that you haven’t seen because you’ve been “so busy.” Outdoor café, host a barbecue, or cocktails with friends on a rooftop bar. Seriously, day-drinking here and there seems a little more acceptable in the summer, no? Maybe it’s cause daylight lasts much longer!  There is no time like the summer to check out some of these places for Brunch in Westchester.

Less Clothes:

Show some leg, mama! Show some shoulders, lady! The comfort of less clothes is NO joke. Whip out those sundresses that have been hanging in your closet. It’s a freeing feeling. (Heck, even I take off the leggings in the summer). Just getting in and out of the car is so much less of hassle, right?  

Sleeping: 

The occasional no alarm clock at the crack of dawn. Even though my kids have camp, they don’t have to get out the door until 8:30 a.m. in the summer, where as during the school year, my son leaves home at 6:45 a.m. That’s a substantial difference. Can’t sleep in? How about an early evening nap, perhaps? I also love crashing on the couch after swimming.

Just Say NO:

No homework due, no grades, no projects, no tests, no obsessing about the parent portal. No thoughts on “’did she hand in her work?” or “I’m praying he passes this test!” taking up space in your head.

And Say “YES” More:  

One evening last summer my daughter asked to take a ride to Michaels, the arts and craft store. I looked at the time – it was around 7:30 and instinctively I wanted to say no. Guess we do that often as parents. Then I thought – why not? Sure I had work in the morning, but it’s summer! And off we went. The ability to get off the couch is much more appealing.  

The Gift of Time:

Can you sneak in a longer lunch? If so, go! Raise your hand if you have vacation time built up that you never seem to use? You’ve earned it – go use it!  You need it. In many companies, it’s use it or lose it. 

My Lost Summer

About five or so years ago, around the end of August a neighbor asked me how my summer was. She was with her daughter, who was probably around 6 or 7 at the time. I answered something like, “I don’t know – It’s gone! I don’t know what happened to my summer!” Later that night, my neighbor had texted me saying that her daughter was worried about, “What happened to Melissa’s summer.” She asked – Did someone take it?  How did she lose her summer? Out of the mouth of babes, right? 

Let’s vow not lose our summer! There’s nothing revolutionary in my ideas here, yet when we think of summer – it’s often all about the kids. Here is my little reminder for grown-ups to “have a summer too.” Take in that feeling of leisure – vacations, days off, long weekends, lazy days.  Even though we have to work, you have to admit that not having that morning prep and shuffle off to school takes a load off of daily pressures. 

Enjoy it now, my friends. Do not wait. Seriously, how fast did the first 6 months of the year go? It’s an unfortunate indication of school supplies, pumpkins, and dare I say Christmas Trees –  popping up in our purview before you know it. 

Make memories. Explore new places and adventures. You won’t regret it. And enjoy every moment of summer 2019!

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Melissa is a Bronx native who moved to Westchester County after she and her high school sweetheart got hitched in 1997. She and her husband live in Mount Kisco with their son Corey (2004) and daughter Mia (2007). Melissa spent many years working in Human Resources and currently works in enrollment and marketing for a child care organization. Melissa is a two-time survivor of Postpartum OCD. She initially became interested in writing to raise awareness for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders but has discovered that writing is a newfound aspect of her life that she thoroughly enjoys. Melissa is excited to write with the Westchester County Mom team and hopes you’ll enjoy her stories of the trials and tribulations of a born-n-raised city girl raising teenagers growing up here in Westchester.