Child: When school is out and summer fun begins! Parent: When does school start again?
When humans are trapped in the compartment of some vehicle for a lengthy journey punctuated with such stirring conversation as:
- “I need to go.” “I told you to go before you got in the car!” “I didn’t need to go then.”
- “What’s going on back there?” “Don’t make me come back there!” “If you don’t think I’ll turn this car around, you got another think coming!”
- “He’s touching me!” “Tell her it’s my turn now.” “Can’t we just get along?”
- “You missed the turn.” “Why didn’t you tell me?” “You always act like you know where you’re going.”
- “Are we there yet?”
- Add your own favorite conversation contribution ________________________________
We need summer if it means a break in the routine, new experiences, favorite destinations, time for relaxation and recreation, family togetherness, and a change of pace. It’s a good time to turn off the devices, go outside and play, read a good book, go somewhere you’ve never been or you always enjoy, do something that you’ve never done and stretch yourself.
It seems different these days. Summer seems to be shrinking. School around here opens the first week of August. Some say year-round school is inevitable. Economic stress means fewer choices and more careful planning. Families cannot afford to send their kids to this or that camp. Travel is just too expensive, complicated, or risky.
The truth is we have to build some margin in our lives. Releasing the pressure of busy, harried lives is a vital part of healthy living. We cannot keep the valves open all the way all the time. In our day, stress-related illness is on the rise among our children and youth as well as the adult population.
We have to be pro-active if we want our lives to calm and slow down. Take little steps like the dad who told the family that he would prepare a mix of everyone’s favorite music to play on their vacation trip. What they didn’t know is that he had prepared his own selection – absolute silence. When the kids complained, he simply said, “You got to listen to your music; now I get to listen to mine.”