Summer Rules (specifically Rule #7)

For my sixth birthday, my grandmother bought me an Olivetti typewriter. I rolled in a sheet and began what would become a daily habit: writing rules for my adult self to follow. (Rule #4 - Don’t yell at your kids! I yelled at future me).

Early on, I had understood - it was the rules that decided how I lived, and as long as I was a kid - I had no say in the matter. I had a high anticipation of my emancipation - an adulthood where the rules would be mine to make and mine to break (mostly break, there were way too many of them already).

I’ve done a pretty good job of creating my own Rules for Living (to the extent that is possible for a firstborn, people-pleasing Canadian such as me), but our day-to-day life is so busy with rituals and routines that there isn’t much much wiggle room. We have to get up, get out, get to work, get fed and get ready for bed so we can get up and do it all over again. So much for rebelling.

Until summer, that is.

Summer is when our rules and routines are replaced by rest and relaxation (with apologies for abusing alliteration). When my six-year-old takes over and anything goes. When I set my heart free and ask it what it (really) wants and say YES! to (almost) anything.

In summer, my children feel left to their devices and they are (quite literally) because I leave a piece of myself behind - the restricting, managing, monitoring portion of parenting that I firmly believe in but delightfully abandon in exchange for a couple of months of radiant, sun-kissed joy.

Of course, freedom isn’t free and sometimes it brings about boredom and bingeing and soon it will bring anxiety about all the things we coulda woulda shoulda done when we had the time.

Back-to-school will be here, like every other moment of my life, mercilessly fast. But this moment, now, is summer. It’s long and endless and filled with possibilities and my (sunscreened) face is turned up to greet it. Yearned-stirred-dislodged-liberated-hair-down-open-hearted-ready for anything life has to offer.


With that, I am writing to let you know that I will be taking off the month of August (Rule #7: Summer is for Fun!). I wish you and yours a summer of blissful, unadulterated joy.

See you in the fall. Xoxoxo Karen