Summer Redo

Even as a working mom, you can reap the benefits of summer vacation—all over again.


I've always loved summer. I love the longer days and the heat and only-in-the-summer things, like dinner on the patio and all-day-at-the-beach days and flip-flops.

As a kid, summer always meant a break—from schedules and homework and rules. But when I started working full time, that break never came.

Sure, I've taken a long weekend off during the summer months, but for the most part, my favorite season was just like the rest of the year—with the added bonus that I could wear sandals to the office on summer Fridays.

Now that I'm a mom, summer has started to take on the familiar excitement of when I was a kid. I still have to work, but having a toddler who's in preschool means we're now on a school schedule, one that includes winter break, spring break and summer vacation. Luckily, "summer vacation" is only a week at my son's school (so I don't have to find a day camp and additional child care...whew), but the spirit of the season has already taken hold.

I'm signing us up for mommy-and-me swim lessons next week and the longer days mean more time spent outside, relaxed bedtime schedules—and going out for the occasional post-dinner ice cream cone. I grew up in upstate New York and summer season ice cream stands were a staple in my town. They didn't have indoor seating—just a walk-up window where you placed your order (soft serve vanilla with rainbow sprinkles in a cone, thank you very much). Then you'd grab a seat at one of the wooden picnic tables and people watch. I loved having an ice cream cone with my brother and sister with the background noise of crickets and the tired-but-happy feeling of having spent a day outdoors.

This past Memorial Day, my husband and I had the day off from work and my son had the day off from school (yay!), so after dinner we walked to our local ice cream shop. This one has café chairs set out on the sidewalk instead of picnic tables on the grass, but the idea is the same: order a cone (or, in my son's case, a small cup of vanilla, please) take a seat and people watch—with my family.

What are you looking forward to doing with your bub this summer?