I have to admit when I picture my boys hanging out with Daddy this is what comes to mind. My boys spend so much time on the football field they don’t even flinch with the players are doing tackling drills by them. Now that our boys are 10 and 8.5 summertime with Dad has taken on a whole new look.
One thing I’ve written about a lot is that we have worked hard with our boys to teach them the value of quality time vs. quantity time. That being said when we have those lazy summer days we jam in what we can.
This Saturday we headed to the Y for a family swim. (I swam a mile, everyone else swam laps to different distances). Then we went to the library. There happened to be several events going on like comic book parties and several different trucks like police cars and fire engines that were available for kids to climb on. We extended our trip and spent time exploring.
I think the biggest change that occurs over the summer when it comes to time with Dad is that Ordell and I swap roles. I coordinate swim lessons at our YMCA, and I’m sure you can imagine that summer is our busy time. I’ve done the swim team/swim lesson thing over the years, and although I do enjoy the times when our summer isn’t jam-packed with work, the role reversal is something I have really come to appreciate.
So, for 6-8 weeks over the summer, I get to be the one to head out the door to work, while Dad stays home, enforces the routine of making sure reading and worksheets, etc. are done. Making sure showers are taken, lunches are made and cleaned up and that the boys aren’t just sitting in front of the tv all day. Now that the boys are older he’s gotten pretty adventurous with them. I’ll come home to discover they have gone fishing or hiking. There is usually a picture of a snakeskin or some other gross boy thing for me to admire.
There have been some interesting things that have occurred while Daddy has been in charge During these summers our kids were introduced to Star Wars. I believe our oldest was 4 at the time. We also discovered that allergy meds were only needed every other day (ahem!) instead of every day. I’m pretty sure at least 1 if not both kiddos also decided afternoon naps were no longer necessary over past summers. These summers have also included Ordell taking the boys to parent and tot swim classes, summer camp field trips, play dates with other coach’s kids, and plenty of “chill” time at the house. Several years ago a tradition began where my 3 guys took a guys-only trip. Last year that was their first overnight camping experience. This year they will repeat it with the addition of a coach who we consider family.
The interesting thing is that although the summer is really the shortest part of the year for us, it is the part my boys talk about all year long.
I’m pretty sure it has to do, in part, with getting to go on cool hikes like this, but more so, my boys talk about the summer because Ordell works really hard to fill their memories with quality time fun. The boys know summer will come around again, and part of their conversations about summer fun also include plans for what the next summer will contain. To me, that in itself is worth stepping back and letting Dad take charge of the days. The fact that my boys understand quality time with their dad is a natural part of summer where they can expect multiple days in a row of undivided attention from him makes my heart soar. It may be short, but is certainly sweet!