You smell that?
No, not the dead rat in the alley.
It’s freshly mowed grass and a hint of humidity. . .dew on the pavement. . .SUNSHINE. It’s SUNSHINE! Warm, sweet, sunshine!
Summer is nearly here!
Parents bitch about summer. Presumably because their kids are on summer break from school and acting all BORED and OBNOXIOUS.
I, however, don’t have that problem. My kids aren’t in school yet and they are bored and obnoxious routinely. . .So for me, SUMMER STILL RULES.
We are free to be bored and obnoxious without the burdens of mittens, and freezing slush, and SNOW PANTS.
But we’re NOT going to be bored (no promises on NOT obnoxious) THIS SUMMER.
I’M COMMITTING TO MAKING IT ONE OF THE BEST SUMMERS EV-AH!
I figure my time is running out. Mac’s turning 3 on Saturday. Teddy is 6 months and a few days. One of these Memorial Days very soon, I’m going to wake up to a shopping list for 6 summer camps, invites to a bunch of kiddie pool parties, and lacrosse clinic schedules.
So what makes it the best summer Ev-ah?
1. Hiking as often as possible to “The Rock Spot/Beach” as Mac calls it. . .aka Black Marsh Trail at North Point State Park. I printed out June’s Tide schedule for North Point. Some day, at low tide, we’ll finger paint the sand and photograph our art.
2. Teaching Mac and Teddy the lyrics to EVERY Beach Boys and Jimmy Buffet song.
3. Making Mason Jar terrariums with the boys.
4. Teaching Mac what poison ivy, sumac, etc looks like. Also showing him basic first aid/self-care. (My Dad’s voice forever rings in my head, “Deni Lyn, it’s 3-leafed, shiny stuff.” Right. So’s a Jack-in-the-Pulpit. I need more guidance on my tri-folate leaves!)
5. Another summer of American Red Cross Swim Lessons. For BOTH boys. Worth. Every. Penny. Every. Year. Until they are at certified life guard level. I’m not joking. (And we always use PFDs). We love water. We’re around water A. Lot. The kids have to become strong swimmers.
6. Epic sunset sand castle building competitions at Gunpowder. Staying so late, we have to eat PBJ for dinner. . . in the car. . .on the way home, wrapped in beach towels and soggy, sandy swim suits!
7. Turkey. Point. Light. It’s just not a summer without a rough, hot, humid hike at Elk Neck. The butterfly spotting is spectacular.
8. Seeing the Pride of Baltimore II up close. I asked Mac if he’d like to go for a sail this weekend for his birthday or at least get on deck. He said “all done Pride boat.” Sigh.
9. June 7 is National Trails Day. WHY ISN’T THIS A WEEK?! A MONTH?!
10. Um. Star-Spangled Celebration. Baltimore’s biggest family friendly event EVER. Mac already knows the National Anthem. We’ll keep working on his Star Spangled trivia this summer.
11. Folding and decorating newspaper boats. Floating them in the Patterson Park boat lake. Or a little pool in our yard – depending on how brave I feel that morning.
12. Getting up at early, walking the waterfront to Fells, getting some freshly baked croissants, and talking about birds and flowers and bugs and boats we see the whole way home.
13. Signal Flags: Mac noticed the signal flags flying at a marina we walk by frequently. We are going to learn all the signal flags – Alpha, Bravo, etc. . .and some rainy afternoon, we’ll paint our own and hang them in the house.
14. CSA – Getting our fresh on in Fells Point every week COURTESY OF ZAHRADKA FARM It’s a decent up-front investment but I’m excited to share with the kids that produce isn’t just a shiny, pretty display at the Harris Teeter.
15. Mac likes to bake. Mac likes lemonade. Discuss with him the idea of a bake stand or lemonade stand for No Kid Hungry or Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
16. You can over-night camp outside at Marshy Point. SQUEE!!
17. Blueberry Muffins and fresh strawberries. . .all the time, every meal, as long as possible.
18. Orioles Magic! Mac’s gonna’ LOVE the Yard.
19. I’ll solo load a stroller and two kids on a WATER TAXI. I refuse to be intimidated any longer.
20. I have 2 swim suits. AND a water friendly wrap for Teddy. There’s going to be a LOT of pool and beach time this summer.
21. Orioles Magic Part II: We’ll keep working on our birding skills. I definitely need more practice identifying birds by ear. We’ll listen to recordings while we play inside on rainy days.
22. Evan Balkan’s Walking Baltimore and Shivers Walking In Baltimore. We’ll plot some urban adventures to see new stuff before it gets too hot outside.
23. Reading. I’m hoping to get Mac excited about the library this summer. He’s never been a big fan – although he loves books. Maybe this summer I can convince him it’s a really magical place.
24. The For Whom It Stands exhibit at the Reginald Lewis African-American History Museum. It’s apparently a must see.
25. Our yard. That deck’s getting painted. Plants will be planted. Happy breakfasts will be enjoyed there. . .
26. A trip to Assateague National Seashore, and maybe Crisfield, and Tilghman Island. . .And that beautiful lighthouse on St. Clements Island State Park which is accessible by boat.
27. I’m going to perfect my potato salad recipe.
28. Mac is into fish this week. He has a National Geographic App that features interesting fish from around the world. We’ve printed a map of the world seas and oceans so we can learn exactly where they live.
29. I. Will. Get. This. Kid. To. Enjoy. Sidewalk. Chalk.
30. Daddy has a big birthday this summer.
31. Our annual block party. We’ve kept our participation low-key the past few years. Maybe this is the year to go all-out again?
32. Do I dare to tie dye with the kids?
33. Mac is going to day camp at the Irvine Nature Center for a week in July! Chris and I will take turns chaperoning him. Fun!
34. Mac doesn’t know it yet, but he WILL master using the toilet consistently this summer. Epic.
35. Remember the rainy day journal I made for Mac? We’ll make one for Teddy and a couple for Mac and Teddy this summer.
BEST. SUMMER. EVAH!
BAHAHAHALOL! JOKE! THESE LITTLE PUNKS ARE GOING TO CRUSH ME!!! I’LL BE LUCKY TO SURVIVE JUNE.