We’re fresh off a ten-day vacation from visiting our families back in Wisconsin, which means this post will contain several deep thoughts – some of questionable importance. (Insert smile here.) I can’t assure you my brain is back at 100% percent, but there’s really only one way to find out. So here goes…below is a list of my top five reflections from this year’s summer vacation:
1. You can, in fact, add sugar to sugar. When you spend time with the grandparents, there’s going to be some candy and cookies for the kids to snack on. It’s just a fact of life. Well, with about a day left in our vacation, my wife (Kathleen) and I decided to draw the line. We felt the kids had significantly exceeded the maximum sugar consumption threshold for seven straight days, so we were going to make an effort to limit their intake. Apparently, we made the decision too late. Just as we were about to implement Operation No More Sugar, the kids announced grandma had said they could put a scoop of ice cream between two cookies to make an ice cream cookie sandwich proving you can, in fact, add sugar to sugar. More on that later…
2. Some of the entrepreneurial adventures I have been doing with the kids are starting to leave an impression on them. We introduced the concept of money to the kids about 18-24 months ago. There were no complex mathematical formulas or spreadsheets…we just gave them a quarter here and there for completing tasks around the house or trying some of their veggies. If you’ve followed the blog at all during the last several months, you know we’ve been doing a series of entrepreneurial ventures with them in an effort to have some fun and learn about business. Several times during the vacation, the kids asked specific questions that involved money. For example, we had several conversations about motor homes – there are lots of RV dealers in northern Wisconsin – and what it would cost to buy one. In fact, Owen decided he would buy his RV someday at Willie’s in Bloomer, WI. Not only that, but he began to outline a plan as to how he would make enough money and when he could buy it. Not to be outdone, Malia noted that she, too, would be buying a motor home…and of course, it would be pink.
3. Play is the single most beneficial activity for children. Period. Typically, our kids will play as long as we allow it. Often, this can be an hour to two (sometimes three) before we’re off to run an errand or attend a different event. While we were on vacation, they played all. day. long. Every day. From fishing to tubing to swimming to running and jumping and hiking. And they were in a state of complete jubilation. If your goal is for your children to be happy – and it should be – provide them with time and space for unencumbered play.
4. Parents are gifts – embrace them while you can. I won’t go into great detail about it here, but my father has some fairly serious health challenges and I view every visit with him as a gift. Someday our children will be thinking the very same thing. In other words, embrace them (parents and children) as often as you can.
5. Ice cream cookie sandwiches are extremely tasty. OK, so one of the best things about vacation is breaking a rule from time to time. As I mentioned in reflection #1, we had drawn a line in the sand with our children and were not going to allow them any more sugar as they had overindulged the previous seven plus days. Just as we were about to put down the hammer, they presented us with one of grandma’s homemade ice cream cookie sandwiches she had made them for dessert. Out of my own curiosity – and healthy respect for a good dessert – I gave one a try and found it to be outstanding. Really. A breakthrough for grandma and her desserts.
What an outstanding vacation!
What does your family do for summer vacation? What are your memories of childhood vacations? Have you ever tried homemade ice cream
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