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Photo by sean dreilinger

This summer has zipped right by. The kids have been able to explore areas of interest, play with friends and relax with family. We have been busy, but with enough breaks to create a nice balance. This summer I had the opportunity to have special one-on-one weeks with each child while the other was in camp. I had time to dote on each child and cater to their individual interests which diverge quite a bit. One child is all about being outside and active. We biked, swam in the lake, took an excursion to a regional park to walk through waterfalls and made each day focused on being physical and active. My other child chose indoor and more domestically oriented pursuits. We shopped for school stuff, painted pottery, got mini-pedicures, baked bread, picked flowers and went on walks around the neighborhood. One child embraces the big world while the other finds peace and contentment being closer to home. I enjoyed all of my experiences this summer exploring their worlds and feel like I have gained new insight into and connection with my children.

The book 3 Steps to a Strong Family by Linda and Richard Eyre goes one step deeper into one-on-one outings with their children. In the chapter about creating family traditions they explain that their family has scheduled monthly “mommy dates” and “daddy dates” with each child. It is within these outings that real listening and valuable learning take place. Each child keeps a “mommy or daddy date book” which they record what was done and a few facts about the time together. Then each outing memory is preserved by adhering some object from the date into their books. These objects, as simple as a straw, can help bring back the memory, but what lasts the longest is the emotional connection that is created during this special time together.

The Eyres’s believe that family traditions are a key ingredient to strong families. I realized that our family could use some fun traditions to celebrate our lives together. We have our family holiday traditions and a birthday morning tradition that seems to be waning. We started collecting memories of things that happen during the year in a jar to read on New Years Eve.

I’d love to hear what kind of traditions are unique to your family. Please post a comment!

Photo by TW Collins

In my last post I questioned my tactics about summer scheduling. I lamented about how hectic our summers have become with camps here and there. After a crazy Saturday filled with end of the year dance recitals and yoga demos at Midtown Athletic club. We packed up the car for an overnight at “the lake house”. We left pretty late. It was getting far into the dinner hour. I didn’t want to cave in to eating out again.

An quick aside… my pediatrician surprised me during my daughter’s latest yearly physical. I was asked to fill out a form that focused mainly on eating habits. One of the questions was how often we ate out a week. The answers we were either 0-1, 2-4, 5+. I am a health nut. (See my post about chocolate chip cookies with chick peas! ) I circled the number 2 as we do take the kids out for dinner once a week and we sometimes go out for lunch during the weekend. The doctor looked at me incredulously and said that the recommendation is to eat out once a month! I completely understand why—portions are enormous, chefs cook for flavor and not for health, the menu may not have healthy choices. Truthfully, I think school lunches in the cafeteria are a much greater problem, but that is another post…

So…back to the story. The kids, though already ravenous, ran to the water to look for fossils as I started dinner close to 7pm. The wonders of nature occupied my little guys as I concocted a delicious grilled chicken dinner accompanied by a fruit salad and fat-free baked beans. It was yummy and healthy. The doctor would have been proud!

We followed dinner with a boat ride at dusk, we played the game Bananagrams and then we all went to bed.

There is just something about the lake. It is magical.

Usually the house is packed full—my parents, my siblings, their kids. We total 15 people and two dogs. The house is full of life. However, this weekend the weather was overcast and rainy. Just my folks were around. We had the place to ourselves. We bonded with each other–especially my kids. Usually with the cousins around the two don’t have a reason to play together. They are opposite sexes and almost four years apart so their interests differ quite a bit. This weekend these two found the playmate in each other. It was one of those magical summer moments that I was nostalgic about in my last post. The boredom hits and you turn to nature and your sibling for fun.

I was able to do some yoga, read a book, bake some of those chocolate chip cookies I mentioned above, take a boat ride with my husband and play board games with the kids.

We may have a busy summer ahead. But then each weekend, the magic of the lake brings us back to what’s important—time together. The meditative lapping of the water slows down our breath and puts us in a summer frame of mind—at least until the Monday morning alarm goes off.

Have a great week friends.

Current Classes:

MIDTOWN ATHLETIC CLUB

Mondays:
6-7:15am Power Vinyasa (H)

Thursdays:
6-7am Power Vinyasa

Story Time Yoga
1-1:45pm

Sundays:
5-7 year olds
9:45-10:30am
8-11 year olds
10:45-11:30am

STUDIO MOVE!

Wednesdays:
10:30-11:30 Power Vinyasa

Fridays:
Yoga for Athletes
9-10am

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