School will be out in no time and the long days of summer vacation will be here. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the break from homework, teacher conferences, and the business that consumes the school week. The dilemma is what to do with three months and four kids.
I would love to go on a nice vacation, but that is just not in the budget. I do want to make some memories that my kids will cherish. This got me to thinking of my childhood.
I realized that I don’t remember any of our “big” vacations. I can only recall what the pictures reflect. What I do remember is going camping: We could not get the camper to pop up, and craziness ensued the rest of the night trying to make camp.
I remember family reunions consumed with cousins, food, and laughter. It dawned on me that it was not the vacations (generally filled with stress and fighting) that I hold dear, but the time we spent together as a family.
It was the simple thing of just being together and everyone being in the moment. No one was worried about money being spent, how to get the most done in the week, or that we had to see the sights.
As a family, we have decided to make memories this summer. We bought a poster board and began to list the things that we would like to do together. I know that we will not get everything done, but each thing we do will be a memory made that I hope will stick with my kids forever.
Some of the ideas from our younger two kids are: flying kites, eating snow cones, swimming, playing Frisbee, everyone sleeping in the living room, and drawing with chalk in the driveway.
Our oldest two sons thought it would be fun to go camping and do other outdoor activities in addition to perhaps visiting a ghost town, taking road trips, try geo caching, or going to a drive-in movie, or build a backyard fire pit and make s’mores.
My husband and I also thought of outdoor activities such as planting a garden. We considered family service projects, road trips, going for a hike in Palo Duro Canyon, and spending time with family and friends. As you can see, the ideas are endless and the sky is the limit, but we will be making memories.
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During the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs to share their tips and stories about caring for their children during difficult times.