Last year my friend Brittany was seven months pregnant when her kids got out of school for the summer. With a new baby only weeks away, she watched her friends and neighbors pack their suitcases and cars for their summer vacations and thought to herself, Well if we're stuck here this summer, we're going to make the best of it.
And they did. She got out a piece of chalk and gathered her kids around her to make an official Summer List on the chalkboard that stands in her kitchen. As the weeks passed, each time I stopped by there were a few more items checked off their fabulous list. A lemonade stand. A backyard camp out. A trip to the movie theater. A water fight. By the end of summer I stood back and realized that even with a new baby in her arms, I'm pretty sure Brittany spent more time with her kids than anyone I know.
Now, I'm not as far along in my pregnancy, but with the threat of preterm labor and bed rest always lurking in the shadows, our family is taking a similar approach. We don't have the beach. We don't have adventurous road trips or plane rides ahead of us. But what we do have is time, and a lot of it. My kids get out of school tomorrow, and our first item of business is to create our own summer list. I hope it will make the long hot days feel full of happy sunshine. But more importantly, I hope it will help my kids to make good memories and to remember that it doesn't matter where you are, it matters who you are with!