I’m not a planner. I never have been. I’ve always wanted order in my life — especially since having kids — but generally speaking, I’m fairly disorganized. Having four boys running circles around me doesn’t help. However, there are certain things that, although they require a lot of planning and effort, have outcomes that are absolutely 100% worth it – our “Family Fun Friday’s” is one of those things.
Making our summer bucket list
Our family decided to make a Summer Bucket List this year. We sat down together and compiled a list of things that we wanted to do over the course of the summer. When we finished, we displayed it in our living room. As soon as school ends, we are going to start picking something off our list to do every week, as a family. All of us. Together. No exceptions. Barring the plague or a tragedy. I’m determined to have fun.
With about 10 Fridays between school ending and next year’s school year beginning, each of our four kids get to plan two Fridays. Their dad and I will choose the remaining two Fridays. We have a plethora of things on our list, ranging from simple to “we may never do this in our lifetime, let alone this summer.” What matters is having a list of things to choose from. When Thursday night rolls around, we can easily look at our list, pick something and start planning instead of drawing a blank or picking Chuck E. Cheese. Again.
Hudson’s choice: Set up a lemonade stand
Being 7 years old and the oldest of four boys, Hudson is very independent. He’s the leader of the pack, loves math and is the bossiest person that I know. What better activity than a lemonade stand? He’ll be able to use all of the aforementioned skills, and I’ll be able to teach him that good bosses don’t only delegate, they do the hard work too. I’ll supervise of course (mainly so he doesn’t unintentionally rip someone off), but this is going to be his gig. I may even let him keep 100% of the profits.
Wyatt’s choice: Spend the day at the pool
This sweet, second born child of mine wants nothing more than to be like his older brother. Wherever Hudson is, Wyatt is usually right beside him — or ever so slightly behind. He loves wearing his brother’s hand-me-downs, loves sitting next to him at the dinner table and loves being read to by him. However, one of the few things that Wyatt can’t do that Hudson can is swim. Wyatt knows that we are going to be in the water a fair amount this summer, so he wants to spend a day at the pool learning to swim.
Amos’s choice: Go to the zoo
I swear, when this three-year-old grows up, he’s going to be a veterinarian, a zoologist or some kind of animal trainer. Amos loves any and all animals — and bugs for that matter — more than any of my other boys. Unfortunately for this family, living in an apartment in Brooklyn isn’t exactly conducive to having a pet. Instead we’ll take him to the zoo to see and learn about all the different kinds of animals. And for the time being, he’ll just have to be okay with not taking them home with us and instead collecting “baby rocks” around the neighborhood. Yes, he does that. He’s most excited to see the giraffes.
Brooks’s choice: Berry picking
What does Brooks like doing? We’re not quite sure yet. We know, in typical almost two-year-old fashion, he loves to say no. We know he hates missing out on any kind of action. And we know he likes his brothers, jumping off of the couch, trying to escape the apartment and eating whatever he can get his hands on, including all the berries. This is why I’ve decided Brooks’s choice is berry picking. Although, I’m pretty sure he’ll be doing more eating than picking.
Daddy’s choice: Camping
We are still undecided, but this may or may not be a boys’ trip. Something about having only a piece of nylon between myself and the great outdoors unsettles me. I know my big boys and my husband will love it. Making a campfire, eating s’mores and sleeping in a tent will be a dream for them. I guess since I made the “no exceptions” rule, I should plan to join them. I might have to rethink that rule.
Mommy’s choice: Slip N Slide
Not having a backyard might complicate this one, but I’m determined to figure it out. I plan to take videos and laugh for years to come. I’m thinking we’re going to have to accomplish this one when we’re visiting family in New Hampshire. My family will want to participate too, but also, putting a Slip N Slide on a NYC sidewalk just sounds painful. Make note: if you do this for yourself, don’t forget to put baby shampoo on the Slip N Slide to make it even more slippery. (You can thank my parents for that hot tip).
So your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create your own Summer Bucket List. Devote one day a week over the course of summer vacation to Family Fun Fridays, Summer Saturdays or Sunday Funday.
What would be your number one bucket list item this summer?
Rhianon Hoffman contributed this post. Rhianon is a mom of four young boys; Hudson (7), Wyatt (5), Amos (3), and Brooks (19 months). She loves to honestly share about the challenges of raising small children, funny observations, daily unfortunate mishaps, and creative ways to engage with your kids. She loves being as authentic and transparent as possible, and hopes to create an encouraging space in which readers can reflect and reimagine their identity as parents. Rhianon and her husband Seth live in Brooklyn, NY with their little dudes.
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