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18 Summers Is All We Have

18 Summers……..just 18 summer vacations are all we have with them.

Creating memories with my daughter in the fleeting amount of time of her childhood is so important to me. I don’t know if I value this because motherhood came later for me or because “Quality Time” is my love language. Whatever the reason, vacation experiences with family is a top priority to me, and here are some reasons I believe it should be important to your family.

Memories Are for a Lifetime
Good or bad, we all carry memories from our childhood over into adulthood. Our memories are the “gift that keeps on giving” so why not fill that depository with meaningful and positive memories. Thirty years from now you won’t be sitting around reminiscing with your children about the great job you or the cool shoes you bought your kids, you will be laughing about shared experiences and fond memories. When I gather with family we still laugh as we remember some of our adventures including the white-water rafting trip where our skinny French exchange student went flying in the air and my father grabbed him by the back of the shirt to keep him from falling out of the raft. This memory took place more than three decades ago, but all these years later we are bonded together by this shared experience.

You Need It
The reality is we all need a break from work and the craziness of life. Our mental and physical health will benefit from temporarily disconnecting from the stress of our careers or running a household and reconnecting with those that are the most important to us. Our kids need it as well. Their lives are often crammed full of the pressure of grades or a hectic extracurricular schedule. They need the restful benefit of laying aside life’s busyness, even if only for a few days.

Learn Life Skills
Though you will not be brushing up on your math skills or writing papers while you are on vacation (or at least I hope not), there are so many learning opportunities for our children to gain valuable life skills along the way. There is the opportunity to see and experience other cultures as you travel around our country and world. Children will also hone their skills of interacting with others whether it be with their own family members in the close quarters of a cruise cabin or in a hotel room or through the interaction of other vacation guests or resort staff. And most importantly, our children need to see their parents enjoying life and enjoying each other and learn firsthand what a loving, healthy relationship looks like.

During this crazy season of life when our favorite vacation spot is still closed, we have ventured out for a couple of camping trips. My husband, without me knowing, snapped this photo early in the morning of my daughter and me. We both have bedhead and our teeth had yet to see a toothbrush that day, but you know what? I LOVE this picture! A short glimpse of this one photo and I am quickly taken back to the memories of making pancakes outside, a cute redhead swinging in a hammock, and a bear stealing goldfish crackers from our campsite. Sweet memories we will all carry for the rest of our lives.

What about you? What is your favorite way to make memories with your family?

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