The Lesson of Summer – By Jennifer Laurent

Summer is a time for fun and for freedom away from the scheduled life of the school year. It is a time for our children to play and a time for them to let go. A special time where our kids truly get to be kids, eagerly anticipated by them throughout the entire rest of the year.

Us parents can have a somewhat different perspective. In addition to the joy of having our children home with us, we can also feel overwhelmed by the extra responsibility summertime can bring to our own schedules. Arranging for camps, play dates, vacations, child-care, and our own time off so that we too can enjoy all the freedom and fun that summer has to offer. I know for me, past summers have resulted in feelings of guilt. Feeling guilty when I wasn’t spending time having fun with my son, and then feeling guilty about not working when I was.

This summer I decided to try something new. I made a decision to have this summer be a time of freedom and letting go for me as well. I found a way to minimize my work to only the absolute essentials and jump into a fun filled time off with my little guy. The experience has been absolutely priceless. We have vacationed, “staycationed”, visited with family, been lazy, sought out new adventures, rescued a dog, played and watched A LOT of baseball, and laughed more than I can ever remember laughing.

For my son, this summer will be filled with memories that will last his lifetime. Memories of firsts and getting butterflies in our tummies, memories of special time bonding with his family, and memories of letting go and simply having fun.


For me, this summer has filled my heart and nourished my soul. I will always remember this summer as the time I learned to let go of the things I mistakenly thought were important, and instead embrace these once in a lifetime moments parenting has to offer.

This morning I dropped my son off at his beach camp, and as soon as the door closed I knew I would write this post. I was consumed with absolute excitement and happiness for him that he has the opportunity to experience five straight days of playing at the beach. Five whole days of learning to boogie board, play in the sand, swim in the ocean, and meet new friends. My overwhelming joy for him brought me to tears as my heart grew full with gratitude for being able to experience all of these memorable life moments with my son.

School will start soon, and life will assume it’s regularly scheduled programming, though I will carry with me the lesson of the summer. To find ways to truly let go of the things I mistakenly think are most important and give myself the freedom to soak up as many life experiences with my son as I possibly can. To truly embrace the beautiful gift of parenthood.