[twitter]At the beginning of the summer, I wrote a post about the Visit Idaho tourism campaign. It highlights the 18 Summers we get with our kids and challenges you to spend them wisely, suggesting Idaho would be a great place to do just that.
We took our summer vacation road trip through North Idaho and we did a lot. We rode bikes, climbed mountains, went kayaking, chased each other down water slides, had ice cream, went shopping, played in playgrounds, dug in beaches, and more.
One of our nights was spent with a couple of dad blogging colleagues in Coeur D’Alene, having a beer on the beach at the lake.
I was explaining this 18 summers notion that inspired me when Phil (North Idaho Dad), a dad with kids well into their teens, warned “you’re lucky if you get 18.”
He says he’s had about 14 and went on to tell me that when your kids become teens they really don’t want anything to do with you.
“You can drag them along for big family vacations,” he explained remembering his family of four’s spring trip to Hawaii. “But there’s always a chance when you come home they will say ‘well that was boring.'”
Sometimes you might get lucky, your teens will be involved and be part of the program, but there’s always a chance they could drift away into their text machines, books, or video games and just not want to be bothered with the family. Those 18 summers can quickly become 16, or 15, or 14.
This summer was my 9th with Zacharie and it will be remembered as the one where he went off a rope swing for the first time.
We went on a kayak trip with ROW Adventures and, on the way back, we made a pit stop for the guide to do the rope swing, and Zacharie stripped down to his skivvies and took the plunge too.
He ran down the hill, jumped out over the slough, screamed, and let go. Despite everything we’ve attacked this summer, this might just be my favourite summer in slow motion memory.
18 summers with your kids. You can pack them with all the excitement, activities, and wonder that you can, but it all comes down to one highlight.
And those 18 summers might not even be all you get.
Disclosure: portions of our trip to Idaho were provided by Visit Idaho.