We have such a brief opportunity to pass on to our children our love for this Earth, and to tell our stories. These are the moments when the world is made whole. In my children’s memories, the adventures we’ve had together in nature will always exist.

Richard Louv – Last Child in the Woods

I swear I can still hear the last ringing note of the school bell; announcing the end of the last school period of the day and the beginning of summer.

And yet, in the blink of an eye, summer is gone and the little ones are on their way to the bus stop. Heading off for another year of school.

“It’s too soon,” I tell myself. And it is. I remember the day when school didn’t begin until after Labor Day.

I remember the endless days of summer. Memories of summer trips, camping at the lake, summer bike rides, and impossibly long days spent exploring with friends. That was summer. And it lasted well into the first week of September, when a return to school finally beckoned. We returned the week after labor day, summer’s last great hurrah! Not some random Tuesday in mid-August.

And though I’ve known this day has been coming. And though I know there are still four weeks left of summer; I feel like a summer’s worth of adventures has flown by all too fast.

It’s not time lost though. It is time well spent. But, sadly, it’s time that never feels like it was enough.

It was a summer of firsts. Jackson had his first real driving lessons behind the wheel of supercharged go-carts early in the season. We raced through straightaways and drifted through curves on the track, both vying for the pole position each race. Addie rode shotgun with me each race; content not to drive but constantly chiding me for my overly aggressive driving.

While making time for play, work on the farm always progressed. We raised our first meat birds and tried our hands at turkeys. Brooders and shelters were constructed for each new addition. We even built and opened our first farm stand, with help from the kids all the way.

Whether fireworks for the 4th of July, canoe trips down the river, creek-stomping adventures, enjoying the sweetest of sweetcorn at our favorite local hang-out, or camping out in the tall grass meadow of the farm, we try to make the most of the summer days; building memories of adventures we hope to both inspire the kids and to last a lifetime.

Even in this last weekend before the early return to school, I put off the work of the farm and homestead to give the kids one last weekend adventure. One last day of fun; one last day of summer. One last set of memories for them to look back upon and cherish as they head off to school.

Of course, just because school started doesn’t mean the adventures will cease. We’ve four weeks of summer left before we begin the adventures of fall. And while there will be school, and work on the farm, we’ll continue to make time to pass on our love of nature, adventure, and time well spent. This is our time to tell our stories as a family built upon the love of life.

And, we cannot forget, there’s a whole other generation just beginning to start exploring within our family.

Make the most of today. Make memories that will last a lifetime. Fill your soul.

And never forget the need for play.

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