Thursday, May 2, 2013

10:04 PM
View + Sleeping Baby = Priceless
There are only a handful of nights in the SF Bay Area where you can comfortably wander around after dark without a jacket on. Tonight was beautifully, blissfully one of them. I honored the occurrence by taking the kids (and myself) out for ice cream, and then taking the dog (and myself) out for a leisurely twilight run. As I relish this comparative heat wave (yes they do issue heat warnings when it is above 80 degrees in San Francisco) I started thinking about my summer bucket list.

The vast expanse of childhood summer vacations are long gone, as are the relatively chill summers I enjoyed during college (Before I got serious about internships, I spent two summers as a river rafting guide - leading trips on the American, Salmon, Rogue and Colorado Rivers). However, the idea of summer - the pure joy and romance of it - enthralls me every time. 

To compensate for not having lots of time off during summers now, my family does our best to pack in as much as possible on the weekends. We usually go strong for two or three weekends in a row, and then spend a weekend playing catch up and vegging by the pool. Work and real life get sandwiched somewhere in the middle. 

The calendar for this summer still seems comparatively empty, but here are some of the things that we have planned to date and things that I am planning to plan:

1. First Adults-Only Trip. Yes indeed. For the first time since my son was born, my husband and I are going to go on a trip. Just the two of us. Far away. On an airplane. No kids. I am having trouble even believing this as I write it. This will hopefully be the first of many such opportunities for us to get away and spend some quality time together. We love our kids more than anything, but our relationship needs the attention and nurturing and sleep that only a few days away from the kids can provide.
River Play

2. Pilgrimage Home. My parents live in a modest house on an amazing piece of river-front property in the Sequoia National Monument. Each summer we spend close to a week there - biking, hiking, swimming in the river and just generally having a wonderful time while my parents feed us and make us margaritas. I sleep in my childhood bedroom and revel in having my kids explore and feel at home in the fantastic natural playground that I grew up in.

The Girls of the First SWK Summer
3. College Reunion. Thanks to the motivation of a few key individuals, each year a group of my college friends spends a week together at some family-friendly destination. This year is our 15th college reunion and our 5th SWK summer reunion. Fittingly, everyone is on board this year, and there will be about 40 of us spending the week in Sunriver, OR - biking, hiking, swimming, and playing from sunup to long past sundown.

4. Explore the Great Outdoors. We only have one camping trip planned to date for the summer (the beach), but we usually pack in at least two more to the Tahoe region. I will soon start putting some dates on the calendar for either Tahoe, Huntington lake, or Gold Lake - all fun destinations where, in addition to biking, hiking, climbing, and running, you can windsurf and SUP. Good stuff.

5. Women's Climbing Trip. We tried last summer and had a massive scheduling fail. This summer I hope to get out for a climbing weekend with my girlfriends who both climb and laugh hard. It will be amazing to climb outside again after a multi-year, kid-induced drought.

6. Weekend Warrior. The most recent half-marathon that I ran got me very inspired to do more. I will start reviewing the race calendar next week and try to pick out at least three more races to do this summer. I may also try to sprinkle in a sprint or mountain bike triathlon if the dates and locations work out. Having something on the calendar definitely helps keep me accountable to staying fit.
Backyard Water Slide

In addition to the trips and events, I am also just looking forward to BBQs on our back deck, watching the kids splash around in our saggy, inflatable kiddie pool, and working in our little garden. I hope my daughter learns how to really swim this summer, and to ride her bike without training wheels. Both of those things will require hours of my patience and time, something that I am more than willing to give. 

My daughter turns five this June, my son will be two in August. Like I have the luxury of doing, I hope they remember their childhood summers as being full of play and fun adventures that nourished their bodies and minds. Summer brings out the kid in all of us, which really is our best self - don't you think?

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