ABC’s of Parenting: Y is for yearly

I admit this one’s a bit of a stretch, but stick with me. It really is going somewhere. And hey, we’re almost done – 25 out of 26 ABC’s completed!

I didn’t quite realize it until we finished up our public school experience and sent both our oldest and youngest away for new adventures, but our little world had totally revolved around the rhythm of the school year. First it was back-t0-school shopping, fee payment, and finding out who our teachers would be.  Field day, end-of-year celebrations and summer vacation. Then as they got older there were the fixed schedules of auditions, rehearsals, shows, musical competitions, college testing. Now that we don’t have those schedules any more, I’ve felt adrift.

But the thing I miss most is a simple tradition we observed at our house every year since the kids first started school. We called it “What we did this summer.”

Every year, on the very last evening before school started, we had a pizza dinner (at a favorite pizza joint when finances allowed, or home-made pizza when they didn’t) with a special addition. As we ate, we wrote down a list of everything interesting we could think of that we’d done over the summer.

Some years the lists were long – camping, projects, events, summer classes, organized activities. At least one year we had a rough time coming up with anything at all. That was the summer when we spent most of almost every day gutting and rebuilding/redecorating the kitchen.

After the list was finished we posted it on the refrigerator for a few weeks, as a reminder of all the fun (and work) we’d had over the long, lazy summer months. Eventually each list was folded and tucked away in a cabinet. Every now and then in the dead of winter we’d get out all the old lists and remember good times.

“What we did this summer” didn’t happen this year. Only one kid was home, and The Husband was on the road. We toyed with the idea of doing it via Facetime or conference call, but it didn’t happen. It would have been a pretty good list this year, too.

I’ve got the whole afternoon and evening to myself today, with Middle Sister in class until almost 9:00. I can hear all those summer lists calling me. I think I know what I’ll be doing this evening.


6 thoughts on “ABC’s of Parenting: Y is for yearly

  1. That’s a beautiful thing to do, and I know how much this year it was missed. You will have to create a new tradition. Geesh I wish I had thought of this. I was so bad at keeping memories alive because I was always struggling to stay alive.


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