“And it was summer–warm, beautiful summer.”
Hans Christian Andersen

Making a household today often calls for being intentional. By being ‘intentional’ I mean making a conscious and regular effort to deliberate about how best to achieve an end. In an age when good customs embodied a passed-on wisdom, parents did not need to be so intentional about various aspects of the good life in the home. They could at least somewhat ‘go with the flow,’ as it were.

By and large it is not so today. One area where this is especially apparent is that of quality communal activities. As we enter the summer months it is worth considering what kind of activities are especially conducive to enhancing personal presence and personal relationships in the household.

The place of different kinds of work is one essential part of this consideration. But I am interested in focusing right now on recreational activities. Of course summer is a time when many of us go on vacation, which is comprised especially of such activities. But even apart from vacation as such, summer lends itself to more regular recreational activities, whether on a weekday or weekend.

Summer weather often invites our being outside and enjoying the natural world. Further, children tend to be free of academic concerns and to be looking for, and often needing something to engage them. It is a time to get out and finally do some of those things we tend to daydream about, and that children will later look back on, and remember fondly.

There is no set list of such activities. What is perhaps most important is that we nonetheless make a list for ourselves: so that we actually do them. And we can consider and weigh the activities, both from our own viewpoint and from that of our children. It is important that we all enjoy them; though at the same time we all can stand to develop and deepen our tastes.

Over the next few weeks I am going to offer a few examples of summer activities that might be worth special consideration: the kind that looking back we, and our children, will be especially glad we made the time to do.

Image: Winslow Homer (1836-1910), Boys in a Pasture

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:

Living with Yourself

“And a virtuous man wishes to live with himself; for he does so with pleasure, since the memories of his past acts are delightful and his hopes for the future are good, and therefore pleasant. His mind is well stored too with subjects of contemplation.” Aristotle,...

read more

Might vs. Valor

Phalinus, messenger from Persian King Artaxerxes, demands that the Persians (who had fought with Cyrus, now dead, against Artaxerxes) put down their arms. Xenophon responds: “Phalinus, at this moment, as you see for yourself, we have no other possessions save arms and...

read more

Bethany Weekends: Spring, Summer Schedule

Socrates insisted on the centrality of examining our lives. The purpose of such examination is clear: we will come closer to being the persons we can be if we accept the challenge of our human identity, of being rational. This is our privilege: to use our reason to...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest