This summer break I set out to make every moment count for my son.


This summer, I set out to make every day count for my son. I learned along the way that every day counts whether I purpose it to or not, and that sometimes, the best memories come from the ordinary.

I admit it. I am a sucker for all those 'mom' videos and posts that talk about how important every second is...how there are only 940 Saturdays and 18 summers we get with our children. I feel worried as a working mama that during the summer, I don't enjoy the time I have with my son as much, and that one day, he'll look back and see summer breaks very differently than I want him to.

So this summer, I purposed each day to be something fun and new. I decided that Monday-Friday of his summer vacation, each day would have something different and set apart that he could give thanks for at the end of the day, and collectively remember fondly at the end of the summer.

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Our first summer days included trips to the library for our library card, treats at our local ice cream shop, visits to the water park and movies. Additionally, they were dotted with a getaway here and there, and then a three-week adventure to visit family and friends all over the east coast.

Each day, I'd pat myself on the back hearing him say his prayers and be thankful for whatever it was that we did that day, and as summer quickly draws to its end, I feel accomplished. Purposed. Intentioned.

I also feel tired. I am not ashamed to admit that it takes a lot of effort to 'make each day count,' and as much as I love making the memories with him, I was jolted into a different perspective recently when he came in my room and snuggled first thing in the morning.

We'd just gotten back from a road trip, and were gearing up for another in a few days, and he asked innocently, "Do we have to do anything this morning?"

I told him that we just needed to clean up and get ready for our next fun adventure and he said, 'Yay! A slow morning like in the olden days."

I sort of laughed at his version of the "olden days," but asked what he meant and he went on to tell me he missed the lazy mornings of summers past where we didn't have tons of stuff scheduled each day 'to make summer break count,' and we could just...be. Some mornings that was in our PJs half the day and the pool the other half, others it meant a special camp day or two but not several weeks in a row.

His favorite thing? Laying in bed with me first thing in the morning and watching a half-hour television show he hardly ever watches while I drank my coffee and scrolled through Facebook with him.

Yes. You read that right. I let him watch a half hour of television snuggled next to me as I scrolled Facebook and he loved it!

I realized that in my quest to make each day memorable and magical, we had sort of forgotten the joy of the simple and normal. I thought back to all the times he'd asked me about playdates with various friends this summer and I'd replied, "Oh, but we are going to ...... so we'll have to try another time," or how one of his favorite memories of the entire summer is not one of the many different places or things we'd gone to or done, but that he got a humongous $5 pool raft at his Nana and Grandaddy's and flipped off it endlessly until a thunderstorm made us leave the pool.

Mama friends, I am the first to say not to take a single second for granted and to make every second count. My son's brothers both died before I ever got to hold either of them, and I know time is a precious gift.

But I also worry that if in our zeal to fill each second with something that will be a 'memory,' we forget that everything is memorable for our kiddos - even the mundane. It's not about the activity, it's about the time spent and the attitude with which it's spent. It's not about making every minute count because it's full of something new or fun, but recognizing that it counts no matter what because it is, and you have it together with them.

Related: Ask the Expert: How Do We Stay 'Present' While Living Busy Lives?

So, while we are still doing a couple of neat and prior-planned things before we start school in a few weeks, we also are planning regular old days where we sleep in some, read, hit Target and the playground up and just enjoy the day because we're in it together.

This summer break began differently because I wanted each day to be purposed, but my little guy helped me realize that in my efforts to make the 'most' of time with him, I may be missing out on lots.