Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Golden Summer

So, I took the summer off from blogging.  I did this for a couple of reasons.  First, we were really busy!  We took three big vacations: Seattle, a road trip to the Grand Canyon and Colorado, and family camp. Also, my husband retired from the military in July and we had to plan and host his ceremony and reception.  Then, when we were actually at home we went on a lot of day trips around San Diego and Orange County.  Could I have blogged while on vacation?  Sure...but the real reason I took the summer off was because this was a Golden Summer.  What is a Golden Summer you ask?  Well, let me tell you...  It's a term I came up with for a summer vacation that you spend with your kids when you and they actually enjoy spending time with each other and want to be with each other!  It's a summer when they are old enough to make their own breakfast and let you sleep in, get themselves dressed and brush their own hair (most of the time).  It's the summer when you can talk to them about more mature things and get their opinions and input on events and activities.  It's a summer when you give them more freedom to do the things they want to do but they still come back to you for hugs and kisses and cuddles. It's the summer they stay up late but still want to be tucked in at night.  It's a summer between innocence and maturity.  A summer between independence and attachment.

Before a Golden Summer, you, as a parent, spend a lot of your time taking care of your child's needs.  Not begrudgingly...it's just what you do.  You change diapers, pick out clothes, help them get dressed and brush teeth.  You talk about things like Mickey Mouse clubhouse, purple dinosaurs, and the Wiggles.  You make meals and feed your kids and plan your daily schedule around nap time. 

After a Golden Summer, you, as a parent, still want that family time together but your
pre-teen/teenager only wants to spend time with friends, or on the computer, or playing video games.  Your kid is as likely to scowl at you as to talk to you and you can't pry the smart phone out of their hands.

During a Golden Summer, your kids are independent enough to take care of themselves but still want to be with their parents.  It's the summer you truly enjoy being with each other and love being together as a family. 

Many families will have lots of Golden Summers and they are so lucky and blessed.  Some might only have one or two and how sad for the family that doesn't have any.  I also think that the Golden Summers often make a comeback after the tough teen years. And for those of us who have kids with special needs, our Golden Summers may look very different from someone elses or they may come a lot later than others.  I just know that this was our first Golden Summer and I cherished it.  I loved being with my boys this summer, traveling and talking, laughing and loving.  There were some tough times too, after all, they're still kids and brothers, we had our fair share of arguments and disagreements.  It wasn't a perfect summer...but it was definitely Golden!