We had big plans for the summer. Move to a swanky new neighborhood. Take a beach vacation. Use the hours upon hours of free time that summer brings to read the 18 books that are sitting on my shelf unread. "YES," I tell myself, "maybe I'll even take time for me." 

I envisioned sand between my toes and not even caring that I never made it to the gym to prep for the beach. I envisioned me, at the ocean's edge, with perfect beach hair, perfect swimsuit (that does not look like a sausage casing), and sea glass around my neck.

 

But listen, we have been knee-deep in summer for SEVEN WEEKS, with just four weeks to go. We haven't moved. Haven't even found the right neighborhood to move to. Haven't even dipped our toes in the city pool let alone the ocean. Annnnd I just paid my beach money to our dentist, because evidently the five-years-ago "she'll need braces down the road" pediatric dentist and our current dentist are in cahoots to squeeze all the fun money from my wallet and bond it to my daughter's incisors. 

Did I mention some retail stores are already putting Christmas decor out? Because nothing says SUMMER like a Christmas wreath on the door. 

I look around and time is whizzing past and I am screaming, "But it's summer! Slow down!" and I am trying to figure out how the past five months of cold and rain and work and school of the year was NINETY-SEVEN HOURS LONG every single day, and summer? I blinked and seven weeks went by. 

Today, I was bravely climbing Mt. Laundry when the kids came in. They wanted to know if they could create an "Island Paradise" outside.

I mean, how could I say no to that? 

I look out and see that they have dragged this from the shed and plopped it in the middle of the front yard

Because nothing says "we've lost our minds" like a beach umbrella and two beach chairs in the middle of your front yard while the kids are making grasscastles

In one way it's hilarious. In another? It's perfection.

They aren't waiting for the perfect summer to come their way before they decide to have a great summer, and we shouldn't either. 

We shouldn't wait for the perfect beach body before we splash in the ocean with our kids. 

We shouldn't wait for Mt. Laundry to be finished before we go outside and play with them.

We shouldn't wait for the work project to be done before we leave work, if it makes us late for the once-a-year dance recital. 

We shouldn't worry about where to find the best 4th of July fireworks, because kids love ALL fireworks.

And because life doesn't wait.

Babies grow into children and children grow into pre-teens and youths get married and leave the nest.

None of us are promised tomorrow. All we have is right now. This summer. Today. 

So today, let's have the perfect summer. Today, let's not wait for the perfect day to make a beautiful memory. 

Wishing you (at LEAST) four more weeks of beautiful summer memories,

Karen Sipps

SHINEblog Editor