The Return of Summer

A few weeks ago my oldest, 7, asked me an important question:

“Dad, why can’t you get one of those jobs where you have summers off?”

I was touched not only because he wants me around while he’s on summer break but also because he’s deeply connected to our family unit and he’s thinking in terms of us spending even more time together.

“Well, buddy,” I told him, “I would love to have a teaching job or a job where I could work from home and have more flexibility but my career is different.”

I’m not sure he completely understands the demands of a journalist but I do know one important thing – my children have restored my love and anticipation for summer and provided me a newfound appreciation for the 9 weeks we don’t have to worry about early morning alarms, homework and furiously making lunches in the pre-dawn hours.

In fact, each summer, more than the last, I feel like a kid again, planning adventures, preparing for road trips and begging my boss for more and more days off.

It’s one of the beautiful things about parenthood – when your kids reach that miraculous age when they hang on your every word, trust every word that comes out of your mouth and enjoy being around you. We are in that sweet spot of parenting now with kids who like to hear us sing and want to dance with us. I suppose that’s what I’ll remember about these lazy summers – the carefree, ebullient moments where we laughed and got silly together and cemented memories for future days that we will revel in.

Ever since school ended in June we’ve traveled throughout our state, gone on a long beach vacation with extended family on the East Coast and have explored fun spots in our backyard. It’s been every bit as fun and memorable as I hoped it would be.

And the best part is we still have another month to go!

As a kid, I recall summer as that magical time when the days seemed endless and there were few responsibilities, other than a few chores my parents demanded of me. Those days quickly morphed into days filled with summer jobs, summer camps and a desire to spend time away from home with my friends or a girlfriend.

My goal is to capture and bottle this special time with my kids when their summer vacations mean we get to experience the best of all possible worlds and we all get to feel like kids again.

I may not be able to have summers off but in my kids’ minds I want to dote on them and experience so much with them that they believe I am home 24/7.

(Photo credit: Kitsuta via / CC BY-NC)


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About Happiest Daddy

Two boys, one wife and a ton of material. I live for family and I'm one of the most blessed people you will ever meet.

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