Goodbye School, Hello Summer and my Un-bucket List

Yesterday was the last day of school. Today, my son can call himself fifth grader, entering into his last year of elementary school.


It seems like just yesterday that they were just starting school, Boo in Year 1 (which translates to kindergarten here) and Miss M heading off to full-day preschool until she turned 4, at which point she would transition into the primary school as a full-time student. All very hard on a mom who was used to having her little ones home most of the time.

They were excited to go to school. They loved it.


Fast forward five years and they still love school.


As much as Boo likely loves the last day of school, but that’s to be expected after a long year.

Says Miss M: “My favorite day of the year is Christmas; my least favorite day is the last day of school.” Boo doesn’t quite share that same thought, but we’ll see how long he lasts without structure.

My kids thrive on structure; summer vacation is definitely a lot more fly-by-the-seat-of-our pants in terms of both lack of planning for some days and over-scheduling other days.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what I want us all to do this summer. My friend Ann from My 3 Tartlets has a great link-up for your own summer “bucket list”. I tried to do it last summer, and failed miserably getting to most of the stuff on the list because we moved from short-term housing back into our own house, and got caught up in resettling. At the end of the summer, I felt like it had slipped through my fingers and I mourned all the coulda/shouldas.

Not this summer.

With a job hunt ongoing, and friends pushing me to check out ARC Resumes and other services to help with this, there is a good chance that we could be moving again, and I don’t want this summer to turn into a desperate race to do everything we love “one last time” – as it very easily could do. I don’t need the anxiety of it on top of everything else I’m feeling. I’ve found a few jobs and I had to do a few berke assessment testing solutions to see if I would be a good match for the job roles. I haven’t heard back from any employers yet but I’ve got my fingers crossed!

This summer, I have more of an un-bucket list. Oh, sure, we’ll make a wish list of things to do. But really, the top of my kids list is going to the pool, watch tv, and play with friends.

Looking at that first picture, and then the second? Woo-eee, that time sure flew by. Fast. And all I really want to do is spend quality time with my kids.

To kick around the soccer ball with Boo. (He was surprised that his old mom got a few balls past him in goal.)

To play a few games of “H-o-r-s-e” in the front drive. Or “P-i-g”, if the day is too hot.

To curl up on the porch with Miss M and read some books – old favorites of mine, new to her – together.

To put aside my chores to play a board game on a rainy day, or put down the laptop and actually WATCH that silly movie they’ve seen a million times.

Go to the pool, and actually get wet with them instead of cheering them on as they jump off the diving board and go down the slide. No diving board for me, but I’ll suck in the stomach along with my pride – they won’t remember that mom looked like hell in her swimsuit, but they’ll sure remember that I never played with them if I don’t jump in.

To be LESS planned, and more spur of the moment, be it a bike ride or picnic or water gun fight or going to a local minor league ballgame. (Note to self: Get that bike tuned up and flat tires repaired….)

To BE there, in that moment a lot more than I’ve let myself.

In a few years, they won’t be as keen to hang out with us, and it will be all about spending time with their friends.

This summer, it’s all about quality over quantity.

To be sure, I’m still having the kids make a bucket list. But this time, it will be their own. That is the list I’ll take to the link party, and that we’ll tick off and write about this summer.

But. Those pictures were a wake up call. We all know that our time as parents of young kids flies by.

I need to be a little more conscious about it, and be a little less serious in the day-to-day. Less a worrier, and a bit more, well, fun.

For me, my un-bucket list is all about letting go of the worry and the looking ahead and being IN the moment.

And letting those moments happen. Because in the end, that’s what they will remember the most.

So what about you: what’s in your plans for the summer?

Share away in the comment section below!


  1. Maddie just can’t seem to get any closer to Sams shoulders than she was at 3. Enjoy your summer with them.

  2. I love the un-bucket list! So cute! Live in the moment and seize the day! And go ahead jump off the diving board! Shock them and have fun! XOXO

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: