It’s planning time again. Now, before the end of the school year, is the perfect time to plan some summer family activities. We find that the summer days tend to slip away unless we are deliberate about the activities in which we want our family members to participate. We want to strengthen our relationships with each other and build up each other’s faith.
At this time of year, we like to ask each family member what one or two activities are most important. Whether it is a baseball game, a trip to Our Lady of Fatima in Lewiston, an outdoor movie, a picnic or a family trip for frozen custard, we want to know what will make each person’s summer complete.
Once we have our list of activities, we try to schedule as many as possible on our family calendar. We find that advance notice of a family activity increases the likelihood of everyone’s participation. We look up the baseball schedule and the list of church-sponsored and city-sponsored events and choose a date (and a rain date) for as many activities as we can and let everyone know those dates.
Some activities, such as a trip for ice cream or a walk in a particular park, don’t go on the calendar. Instead, we make a list of these more impromptu events and look for opportunities to fit them in. A beautiful evening with just one child home might be the perfect time to take him to do one of the activities on his list. A steamy hot night will provide the opportunity to seek refuge in the coolness of a theater for a late-night movie.
For our family, a lack of planning almost always leads to time slipping past so quickly that we neglect to do the activities we really want to do. If we take just a little time to communicate about our desires, create a "wish list" and get some things on the calendar, we are much more likely to make some meaningful memories with each other.