Every Summer begins anew in the hearts and minds of children and their parents.    Children’s iconic steamer trunks may be substituted by packing to hold electronic necessities; and warm hugs and kisses may be augmented by texts and posts on Facebook.  Vacation remains vacation, regardless of world difficulties and personal challenges.  Children receive vital opportunities to meet and learn with other children.    Everything is learning.  They expand their notion of themselves.  They create without parental interference, and if you’re a lucky parent and obviously very good at parenting, you  receive a gift through your child of ingenuity, love, and maturity which makes all the journey worthwhile.  Parents regain their schedule to reconnect with themselves and each other, making more room for love and acceptance, and hopefully much more joy!

I attended sleep-away camps for 8 years, and somehow made it through separation anxiety the first year due to supportive staff, my brother, and an ongoing supply of cookies and candies and money in my account at the canteen.    The idea of communal living where you’re sharing a bunkhouse with 10-15 other kids awakens you to the importance of making friends.  Children and youth gain valuable social skills and independent or interdependent living skills.  It was at camp-, Moms and Dads, where I got into the habit of making hospital corners on my bed.   Some kids prefer to travel or not attend sleep-away camps.   The opportunity to learn a culture in a far off land,  or deepen family relationships through family trips, represents unique opportunities for both children and parents.   If I could give out stars for efforts,  5 stars would be awarded to parents who travel with toddlers and babies because they usually have to accommodate more to their routines than their own.  If I could operate an airline just for parents, there would be a sleeping section, play section, and a feeding section on all planes.

Summer marks a transitional time for the Fall push into new people and activities.   The break from routines is just long enough to erase boredom and  to appreciate the value of structure for children and parents.   Isn’t it great how we can look back at our Summers, despite  unpredictable events, as support for adventures at home?  Bon voyage to all the children, youth and parents.  Have a great and safe Summer!  Regards, Robert