Friday, July 30, 2021

Five on Friday: The Evolving Summer Bucket List

It's nearly August which means we've reached the "oh my god there are so many things we still want to do!!" stage of the summer.

I realized, though, as I started to assemble a bucket list in my mind, that that list is changing as our family does. Just like our college students' individual plans earlier this summer meant that our family vacation this year was parents and primarily three kids (one young adult did join us at the end), our other summer plans are also evolving. So, for example, when I found myself thinking "we haven't even been to the reservoir yet," I had a follow-up thought of "the kids don't even really like that anymore. Take it off the list."

The reservoir used to be a big part of our lives. When the oldest two were toddlers, we'd get there as the lifeguards started their shifts, played for a few hours, ate our picnic lunch and then go home for a nap. Sometimes we'd even go back again in the afternoon! Here's a sketch I made in those days:

"If only my kids were still young"
"If only I had a minute to sit and read"

Seventeen years later, I find myself somewhere between the two women. While the appeal of splashing in shallow water and playing in the sand for hours on end has waned with my family, we now have other activities we like to do together . . . and had better get to those that we haven't done yet, because summer is nearly over.

The evolved summer bucket list includes:

1. A day at the reservoir Jersey shore . . . this is sort of a requirement when you live in New Jersey, isn't it? No matter how old your kids are.

2. Visiting family members we didn't get to see at all last year because of the pandemic. It's easier to do without school schedules to work around and when the weather is nice enough for outdoor visiting and group activities.

3. Ignore looking at school schedules and shopping lists for as long as humanely possible.

4. Family bonfire down by the pond.

5. Ice cream for dinner!

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