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Some Thoughts About the First Month of Summer.

The school year has wound down, the summer activities have begun, and some are already lamenting the long summer ahead.  How can we fill the hours, days, weeks of summer with the many needs of children and others? I remember well the boredom and restlessness that can set in after the initial spurt of joy wears off as the summer begins.  Formless mornings can spill into endless afternoons, and too often that unstructured time can lead to trouble. All of this even though the month of June is filled with numerous holidays and days of remembrance. For a very few examples yet to come, Flag Day is June 14 (to honor the United States flag and to commemorate the flag’s adoption on June 14, 1777),  Ramadan begins on June 17 (a period of prayer, fasting, charity-giving and self-accountability for Muslims in the United States), Junteenth is on the 19th (the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States), Father’s Day is on the 21st (it honors all fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, and father figures for their contributions, and was created to complement Mother’s Day), and, finally, the Summer Solstice is also on June 21 (this marks the onset of summer and is the longest day of the year).

Summer, I think, serves a very important purpose.  It offers time to relearn to enjoy your children again, to not worry about aggravating school struggles, to re-engage with friends and relatives during what always seems to be the fleeting months of July and August.  Can we try to surrender to the lovely lower expectations and unproductive downtime it offers?  Sometimes, all we can do with summer is take it moment by moment – gentle evenings with good ice-cream, punctuated occasionally by disastrous afternoons when no one is happy.  Summer is a great season, but one that, like childhood, passes all too quickly. So consider prioritizing taking some time to just enjoy yourselves.