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Everything Doesn’t Have to Be Pinterest-Worthy

Originally published by The Northeast Georgian, June 6, 2014.
Last week I went to a playdate with Habersham MOPS and amidst the spilled apple juice and sticky cheerios, we made summer bucket lists with our kids. Everyone knows about a bucket list right? That simple rundown of activities to accomplish before you kick the bucket—or in this case before school kicks back in.
My kids didn’t really get that we should be listing special activities. Activities that aren’t everyday ordinary but are rather are rare adventures sacred to heat and free time. Nope, they just want to read library books, play on the playground, and swim.
Done. Knocked all that out in the first week. Now what do we do?
It occurs to me that maybe they want the simple because I spend too much time trying to sell them on the outlandish, trying to keep them from being bored, trying to make everything entertaining. Truth is, they’re pretty entertained by themselves when I leave them alone long enough to be creative. Or when I take them to the woods and let them just walk with no purpose other than ice cream at the end of the trail.
Everything in life doesn’t have to be Pinterest-worthy.
So here’s our summer bucket list. It’s nothing spectacular. Which is pretty much why it’s extraordinary.
1.      Swim at Unicoi Beach.
2.      Swim at Tallulah Gorge State Park.
3.      Swim at Lake Rabun Beach.
4.      Swim at Don Carter State Park.
5.      Find new hiking trails.
6.      Go camping using the two free nights we got with our state park pass.
7.      Go to the summer reading programs at the library.
8.      Read and record our books/hours for prizes at the library.
9.      Get ice cream and go to the park.
10.  Have lots of picnics.
11.  Help pick CSA shares at Red Dust Ranch.
12.  Go to Edisto Beach for vacation.
13.  Find lots of sea shells at the beach.
14.  Try not to watch TV.
15.  Play with friends.
16.  Have sleepovers.
17.  Walk dogs at the Animal Shelter.

That’s it. Really, it reads like a love letter to Georgia state parks and our community. I learned last year that’s what they love most. While they’re pretty happy with a few days away at camp and a few nights at the beach, mostly they just want to stay home and play around here. We’re blessed to be surrounded by National Forest and beautiful areas for summer fun. My kids, bless their hearts, really can’t imagine why we would need to go anywhere else. 
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