Summer is the time to solidify relationships. To hang with friends without the constraints of homework, baseball practice, orthodontist appointments, school the next day or pointe shoe fittings. It is a gift we give our children, to spend some unstructured time playing, climbing trees, body surfing, and getting to know the new kid down the road. These precious moments provide the opportunity for our children to learn the joys of friendship, to experience the disappointment of a best friend no longer, to watch those we’ve loved for years move on, to make new friends and to pursue new interests. It allows us, parents, the opportunity to model supportive and encouraging behaviors, to show our kids that we will always love them unconditionally, and to take them for that extra ice cream, just because.
Summer provides us the gift of slowing down. The longer days and later sunsets give us more time to enjoy the beauty that surrounds us. We visit the beach, go hiking, swim, surf, build sandcastles, fly kites, pick fruit and enjoy nature. Spend more time with those you love, create meaningful memories, enjoy the gift of time, because all too soon we’ll be back at school running to baseball, ballet and the orthodontist. _
Sue Penn is the mother of three, Director of Congregational Learning at University Synagogue, president of Jewish Reconstructionist Educators of North America and a member of the Jewish Educators Assembly.