Today is our first official day of summer. My girls finished school on Thursday, but this is the first day we’ve been home since then. Usually by now, I have our whole summer mapped out. I know what behaviors and attitudes I want to focus on. I know what activities we’re going to do. I have a plan.
But this summer, I don’t. Just getting to the end of the school year took every ounce of energy I had. There wasn’t time to think ahead. There weren’t any solitary moments to come up with a grand plan. I simply didn’t have enough time or energy to worry about what was coming next.
So, this week, as I try to put my house back in order from the chaos of the past couple months, I’ll be doing what I normally do in early May. I’ll be planning a summer that has already started.
I’m thinking that this summer might not look like a lot of our other summers. It might be a little less organized. We might be a little more spontaneous. We might spend a little more time just hanging out around the house. And that’s all OK.
Because sometimes what our kids need is a little less planning and a little more love and attention. I’ll have two girls in middle school next year, and what I’ve discovered as my girls get older is that they often need less actual instruction and more guidance. They need to be able to make their own decisions and draw their own conclusions. They need to be able to practice making good decisions.
So this summer is going to be less about some fantastic adventure and more about simply guiding my girls in the decisions that they make. We’ll still have a summer adventure, but it will be more focused on letting them make decisions and less focused on me teaching them.
Because in this house, we’re fast reaching the point where our kids have to choose to hear God’s voice. They have to choose to follow the path we’ve shown them. We can no longer shove them down the path. When there’s a fork in the road, they have to make the decision themselves. They have to live out the truth in Proverbs 22:6 “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
So as we embark on our summer adventures, I’m praying that my girls will appreciate the guidance we offer. I’m praying for wisdom to offer that guidance. And I’m praying for a summer filled with fun and growth — for everyone.