Procrastination runs deep in our family

As summer cruelly marched toward its end, I looked at my kids and announced we should do something SUPER EXCITING each week until school went and ruined our fun. At the time there were four weeks left in the summer, enough for each of the kiddos and me to take turns getting our way and controlling/dominating the plans of one afternoon per week. I’d made the end-of-summer-arrangements just in time.
But procrastination runs deep in our family. With travels to and from grandparents’ houses in those last couple of weeks, afternoons at the Augusta pool on the few days hot enough for me to actually get in the water, visits from out of town friends, a quick Fox Family getaway to Great Wolf Lodge… Well, Baby Chickadee was the only one on top of her game enough to choose an activity (movie: Earth to Echo). The rest of us losers were left without choosing a super fun activity and the chance to boss everyone around for an afternoon.
Hubby and I decided to lump everything fun into the last Saturday before school started. The Fox Family Summer Blowout Party! An all day event of eating out and being together and hopefully checking some more SUPER EXCITING ACTIVITIES off our list. Mostly, though, being together. Because travelling and pooling and visiting and getawaying had left us scattered as a family.
After Hubby got off work this past Saturday we started our SUPER FUN DAY at Chick-Fil-A because, again, Baby Chickadee was the only one on top of her game and shouted out her restaurant of choice when we asked for suggestions.
And then the griping started. Minor grumbles, for sure, but grumbles that, unchecked, could have gotten out of hand.
Hubby and I looked at each other. Our twelve years of marriage and almost ten years of parenting focused into an unspoken understanding of, “Let’s be super happy, man.” Hubby later said we needed to just be pollyannas that day, and hopefully our super happy moods would tilt the kids’ moods as well. Cuz who wants to discipline children in the middle of the Fox Family Summer Blowout Party?
I think Hubby and my mutual channeling of the finer points of Spicoli (so no drugs or back talking to Mr. Hand, just the laid-back attitude) worked because we had a really fun day. We ate too much, then bowled, then bought overpriced sodas, then ate too much again, then jumped at the trampoline park in Wichita, then bought more over-priced drinks on the way home. We threw caution to the wind and blew the remainder of our vacation money in one afternoon. And our kids smiled almost the entire time.
I think sometimes I indulge my kids too much and sometimes I think not enough. But that day we went overboard with indulging their wants for unhealthy food and overpriced drinks and choosing our activities and it worked just right. And possibly a really great new tradition was born.

Erin Fox is a busy wife and mother of three.  She is a weekly columnist for the Times- Gazette.