If you have children, pull up your calendar and count how many days summer break is. The vastness seems it will last forever, but then you blink and nights are shorter, and suddenly the school bus is there waiting as the leaves start turning red.
When school lets out this coming week, the clock is ticking for us. 80 days to have adventures, to hike, forage, swim and sometimes do nothing at all but just be.
I sat on the ferry the other day thinking while I watched the boys quietly reading and playing that time is slipping by incredibly fast. 5 years ago I sat in an alpine meadow with our boys, 2 and 4 years old then, playing and crawling on boulders. Unsure of what would come, and making the leap that the boys would go to forest school that coming fall. Life has slipped by so quickly since then. They are busy, and often I watch myself turning into their ride to school and after school activities rather than running away to have adventures.
I’ve watched one of our boys grow up, he will be 22 this fall. His childhood was different. It was just one child, who was willing to do what I wanted. And then I blinked and he graduated high school. As it should be, he has little interest in being around his Mom and brothers on a regular basis these days, though sometimes he humors me. When he hikes with us, I often find myself mentally daydreaming a bit, thinking of the days when he was his brothers’ ages and all the hikes and adventures we went on.
The younger boys are 7 and 9 now. Maybe it is watching my oldest as an adult, but suddenly this year I had the feeling I needed to make a conscious decision about summer. I don’t want to blink and it is Labor Day weekend. Last year with our moving and setting up our farm, summer was just that. It was work. It was the first year in 20 years I didn’t hike, nor even visit, the mountains in alpine. My life was doing what was needed, but it meant the boys floundered all summer. It also left me in an awful mood. Hiking has been for me a mental resetter.
80 days is what we get. And the clock starts on Saturday. Fingers crossed we have a lot to talk about this summer….even if we don’t talk about it right away. The boys have been reading their copy of of The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book, and have outlined what they’d like to do. If you are a fan of Instagram, I’ll be hashtagging our adventures with #80daysofsummer.