By Trish Berg
When our children were very young, we began a tradition that continues to this day at the Berg house. On the last day of school, we celebrate the start of summer by sitting down at the supper table and talk about everything we want to do over the summer months. We make a list we call our Camp Palooza list and hang it on the kitchen bulletin board. All summer long, we work on completing everything on our Camp Palooza list and we check them off as we go.
When our Cam Palooza started, we only had three children and they were all preschoolers. We were sure their list would include things like Disneyworld, horseback riding and trips to the Bahamas. Big ticket wishes that we could simply not afford.
My husband, Mike, and I were ultimately surprised that their Camp Palooza wish list was simple and sweet. The kids listed things like having a weenie roast, camping in the tent in the back yard, eating popsicles on the porch and running through the sprinkler barefoot. They wanted to have friends sleep over, eat popcorn, watch movies, and roast marshmallows. Their dreams included catching lightening bugs and staying up past bedtime to snuggle on the couch.
They wanted us. Our time and our love. They wanted to be together as a family, and that was such a blessing to hear from their tiny, little hearts.
Well, our little ones are not so little any longer. We have two teenagers, a tween and an eight year old in our mist, and yet we still ask, every year, what they want on their Camp Palooza list for summer. In the last few years, their lists have included things like weenie roasts, sleep overs, camping, going grandma and grandpaís cottage at the lake to swim, bike riding, picnicking and even catching lightening bugs at night.
I guess the more things change the more they stay the same, and I am thankful for that.
Last summer we took the kids on a road trip up to Maine and made so many fond memories and collected far too many sea shells (which are still in my basement). And though I have heard whispers and dreams of grandeur-vacations from time to time, (as we all know kids can dream big) they are still happy to just be together as a family in the summertime.
Well, today is the last day of school, and tonight at the Berg dinner table, we will be making our Camp Palooza list for summer. I know they are all looking forward to our week at Camp Luther (family church camp) and our mission trip with the youth group. I also know they may also have some plans of their own, and I am excited to see where their hearts are.
Itís time to celebrate summer with your family. What is on your Camp Palooza list? I double-dog-dare you to sit down with your children and ask them to make a wish list for your summer break. What do you think they will list?
You might just be surprised at the simplicity of their dreams, and that what they really want is Y-O-U.
Hang your Camp Palooza list on your kitchen bulletin board and check off each piece of fun as you go throughout the summer. Together, you can enjoy the simple sweetness of just being together at a slower pace this summer.
And if youíre lucky, that sweet simplicity will come with a símore on top.
Trish would love to hear from you at www.trishberg.com, or e-mail trishberg @ trishberg.com.