It’s been awhile since my last post and if you’re thinking that perhaps I’m neglecting my children…hold that thought! While not exclusively the season for family time, summer seems to be when America tends to “step it up a notch”. Growing up in Minnesota, we took advantage of summer weather to vacation, knowing that the rest of the year required significantly more layers of clothing. I remember camping trips with the family with fishing and s’mores, sitting around campfires while the adults competed for the bigger fish story. My cousins and I looked forward to turning ten years old, as that was when we were allowed to join our dads annual Boundary Waters canoe trip. Those trips not only produced wonderful memories of family, they cemented our relationships through shared experience in the wilderness. Let’s face it, there’s nothing quite like the BWCA initiation rite of standing on one foot with arms raised in the air while repeating “Ohwa, tagoo, siam” to qualify that trip as the best of times!
I now have the joy of sharing summer vacations with my own children, building new memories with time spent together around a campfire. We recently returned from a trip where The Great Kazzini, Mazzini, and Dohini provided magical campfire entertainment. Clearly the family wackiness has successfully passed to the next generation! A twilight hike in the Sierras last Friday provided a quieter, more reflective memory with my younger daughter, as we sat watching ducks and bats feed on mosquitoes in an alpine lake. As I get older and watch my kids grow taller, I realize how short life is, and how important it is to embrace every moment together. Take advantage of every opportunity before there is no time left.
The common element in both my childhood and parental “best of times”, has been the willing participation of every family member, and enough enthusiasm to endure long car rides and the occasional thunderstorm. I’ll leave the “how” of achieving that enthusiasm for another post, and close this one with…thanks for the best of times kids! I look forward to many more!