At the end of summer a few things usually run through my head; did we do enough this summer and did we have a great time? Usually it feels like our summer was just right, but I think this past year things went a little better than usual. As with any summer there are always a few moments or milestones that tend to stay with you.
This year we were lucky enough to get out of the city during the summer. The previous year we were in the process of moving into our new home, so our summer consisted of us getting situated: cleaning, unpacking and trying to get back into our daily routine. So our summer was pretty much just spent at home.
We made it a plan to try to enjoy this year more and we went out of town for the Fourth of July weekend. We took a trip out to Fremont, Wisconsin and enjoyed being somewhat away from technology and the craziness that is city life.
I will admit that it took some time for my children to get adjusted to the outdoors, but after a few hours they were enjoying "roughing it". My daughter was chasing frogs with her cousins, while my son just enjoyed running around and playing in the water at the local beach.
The Growth Spurts
Remember when you woke up one morning to go out with your friends and you noticed your pajamas were a little smaller than the night before? Summer is always the time for transformations and this year I noticed in my children how they slowly metamorphosed into the children they will become.
Now, I am not saying that one morning I walked into their rooms and there was a giant roach in their respective beds, but every now and then I would see little changes in their appearance that were not there previously.
They both grew a few inches but have a ways to go until they fit into their new Lee jeans. Hey, I look at it this way, in a few months when they are outgrowing their current jeans, we will have a pair waiting for them.
Parades and Local Festivals
What's summer without watching parades and attending the neighborhood festivals or parties? In our old building during this season we would sit out on our balcony and watch the various parades passing by. This year we were able to enjoy a few parades by standing on the sidewalk and waving as the floats passed us by.
This year we saw the Ecuadorian parade and enjoyed looking at all the colorful floats and costumes that passed us by. Both kids were excited to walk home and play with the little flags and frisbees that were tossed from the floats, but I think they were more excited to eat the candy that they caught.
Saying Good-Bye and Saying Hello
This summer was the last summer for the ferris wheel at Navy Pier so we made it a mission to visit it one more time. My wife and I had gone on this ferris wheel a few times when we first started dating, so it made sense to take our children there before it was taken down.
My daughter was a little nervous about getting on the ferris wheel while my son was could not wait to get on. I'm not sure he knew exactly what this ride was, but once we started moving he enjoyed looking out the basket at the marvelous city views.
Next summer a new ferris wheel will stand in its place that will be even taller than this one and we will make sure we come out and ride it a few more times than we did the previous one, but it will be a little sad to see this one taken down.
Enjoying Time Together
As the summer comes to an end and the shift in temperature starts to come, the best thing about summer is spending time together. I have been told over and over again to enjoy the moments with your children, because they grow up too fast and I believe it.
While I wish that my children stay the age they are now forever, I know that that is asking the impossible, we must enjoy every moment with them and watch as their minds develop and grow with the world around them.
Summer is always a great time to unwind and just enjoy your days with family. I hope when my children are older they will look back on these days and smile.