By Lindsay Pinchuk, Founder + CEO, Bump Club and Beyond
“We get 18 delicious summers with our children. This is one of your 18. If that’s not perspective, I don’t know what is.” —Jessica Scott
It’s hard to believe that summer is over. Dunzo. Finito. Game over. Door is closed.
My oldest is back at school on Wednesday and my little starts pre-K, her last year of preschool, in just a couple of weeks. We had a good run this year. If you ask me, Summer of 2018 was one for the record books.
Both of my kids were at day camp.
My kids are past the baby stage of having to go to bed at a “decent hour.”
Summer 2018 was fun. A lot of fun….for all of us.
For ten years, from 1989-1999, I lived my life by the motto: Live 10 for 2. This meant, I lived the ten months of the school year for the two months I was at camp in the summer. Maybe it seems silly, but that is how much I relished in the time I spent at camp each summer. As an adult, I never imagined “Live 10 for 2” would once again become my summer slogan.
I’ve been walking around with a pit in my stomach since August 10th, the last day of camp for my kids. They walked off the camp bus, each of them sad to the core. And do you know what? I was too.
Last week I ran into a friend at Starbucks who was on her way to pick up her daughter from summer camp. It was only three weeks prior that I myself got J off the overnight camp bus for the first time. I looked at my friend and said: just make sure you take a video. And out of nowhere, I started to cry. Why? I’m not exactly sure, but it hit me out of nowhere, that punch to the gut feeling that summer was ending. As a mom, the close of summer has taken on a whole new meaning.
From the time I moved to Chicago post-college, until only a few years ago, the only distinction between work life in December and July was what was known as “patio season.” As in, happy hour moved outside. There were no huge seasonal distinctions other than the shoes I wore during my morning commute.
At least not before I had kids.
Last summer, when BOTH of my kids started going to day camp, my old summer slogan came creeping back into the mottos of my life. Without even realizing it, last summer I got a taste of what it meant to “Live 10 for 2”, but as an adult.
Many of you who follow me on Instagram remember this day only nine weeks ago.
The bus pulled away and Summer. Had. Begun.
Not just my kids’ summer, but my summer too.
As a mom, “Live 10 for 2” meant slowing down at work and really enjoying it. Going to the gym later and staying for the entire class. Wearing all the athleisure I could pack into one outfit as I parked myself at Starbucks (vs. my downtown office) to work every day. It meant being home for the kids at the end of the day to watch them run off the bus in a state of sheer excitement, sharing their camp stories. (I am SO thankful I was able to share these moments with them.)
It also meant doing things for ME—meeting my husband for an impromptu dinner at a really good restaurant in the city after work. Going out for dinner and drinks on a local patio with friends. Playing softball. Taking in a few amazing concerts–clearly the best part of summer. (NOTE: Don’t forget, one of my kids was gone for ten days—making these activities so much easier to accomplish.)
And while I slowed down and enjoyed my time, it was hard not to notice my kids doing the same. The best part of “Live 10 for 2 part II:” Living it through my kids.
It’s not just me who feels relief and happiness during the summer months. Without a doubt my kids do too. Our kids are outside, they’re making new friends, trying new skills, and largely without the pressures that come throughout the school year.
While there is routine, it’s far less regimented. There’s no homework, or testing, or a barrage of after school activities keeping them scheduled. There’s time for night swimming, the ice cream truck, carnivals, and after dinner bike rides.
Summer 2018 went by in the blink of an eye—just as it did those many summers growing up. With school starting this week, we (sadly for me) resume to our regular scheduled programming. But it’s not without the memories—for all of us—that will keep us going throughout the next ten months, when summer (and the camp bus) arrive at our doorstep once again.