In an effort to keep myself on track with work, to help myself stick to deadlines, to establish some boundaries, to help me from strangling any of the kids and to make this a fun, memory-filled summer for all of us, I made a calendar of events.
I explained that all in this post, but here is the calendar in case you missed it.
The kids are very excited about this, and it has already kept me on track. When a 6, 8, and 9-year-old have six weeks of stuff planned for the summer, they definitely remind you of what is written down, and I think I probably would have bagged the library on Monday already if it weren’t for the calendar.
Tuesdays are the day I planned for day trips because we have no swim practice then, and I had planned to go to the lake in town, but one of the places everyone really wanted to go was Kent Falls (a state park in CT about 45 minutes from our house), and they pretty much begged to go there, so we edited our calendar, and that was our first trip of the summer.
We packed a cooler, packed a couple bags, and hit the road.
Only Number 7 had been there before. She was excited to go back, and the other four who had seen pictures of Number 7’s trip to the falls last year were excited to go for the first time.
We are in the middle of a heat wave here in CT and it was about 92° yesterday and 5 million% humidity, so it was hot. It was a good day to go see some waterfalls.
Plus it’s free, so that was another bonus.
When you get to the park, there is a small hiking trail that goes up along the falls.
There are some different small swimming holes, and we decided we’d hike up to the one at the top of the trail.
We stopped along the way to take a few pictures.
At the top of the trail we took our shoes off and did some exploring in the river.
The kids have been to a lot of beaches, pools, and lakes, but rivers are a new experience for them.
They were shocked by how cold it was at first.
But it was HOT, so they welcomed the cold water.
They had fun climbing on the rocks and exploring.
And just sitting and literally chilling.
After a while we headed back down the trail to the bottom where there are some small swimming holes.
We had put a blanket down under a tree, and I went to put the everyone’s shoes there so I didn’t have to carry them. I told Number 4 I’d be right back. By the time went to the blanket and got back to the bottom of the trail — approximately a 200 yard round trip — Number 4 had scaled two levels of rocks and was literally sitting in a waterfall.
You weren’t supposed to swim in that area, but there were other people there, and then, of course, Number 5, 6, and 7 followed her.
I kind of think every kid should have a chance to do this.
As you can see from these pictures, the kids had a great time in the waterfalls, and made some good summer memories.
But you know what you don’t see in these pictures?
You don’t see the whining, complaining, bickering and arguing that also made up about 50% of our trip.
There was A LOT of complaining.
There was complaining about walking, complaining about the heat, complaining about bugs, complaining about stupid waterfalls, complaining about boredom, complaining about sweating, complaining about slippery rocks, and complaining about siblings being annoying.
THERE WAS A LOT OF COMPLAINING.
There were tears and fits and plenty of sad and angry faces.
In fact, one kid was so miserable he ended up sitting in the car for the last 45 minutes we were there.
Overall we had a nice trip, and five out of six of us would go again in a heartbeat.
But don’t let these Pinterest and Instagram-worthy pictures fool you.
Just like life, this trip was full of emotional — and literal — ups and downs.
But I’m not going to take pictures of my kids complaining, whining and fighting.
Because that’s not fun. Plus it would be a little humiliating for my kids.
And also as in life, you can focus on the bad stuff.
Or you can focus on the good stuff.
And I don’t know about you, but it’s way more fun to focus on the good stuff.