July 2019 480.632.7373 jensenlawaz.com
School’s Out! Recapturing the Freedom of Summers on the Ranch
I am so jealous of my kids.
about my weekends, and I rarely work on Saturday. This means I have plenty of chances for family vacations and evenings spent enjoying our backyard. (We recently added a pool, which means we can actually enjoy the outdoors in the unbearable Arizona heat.) Away from home, we often trek to Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming during the summer to visit with family, much to my sons’ chagrin of having to make the trip again. No matter how far we go, we all love visiting with family and exploring the West Coast. However, our favorite family trip hands down was Hawaii. Even with cross-country trips and backyard pool getaways, it’s still difficult to recapture the exuberance and freedom of summers from youth. Looking back, there was no day more exciting than the last day of school. Like my own kids, I finished each school year in the middle of May, but unlike them, I didn’t have to return until after Labor Day. This meant I had nearly four months of freedom, sleeping in, and adventures. Every year, summer break would fly by, but when that final bell rang on the last day of school, I no longer had to do homework or sit in a stuffy classroom all day. Instead, I was only bound by the limits of my imagination. As soon as school got out, I would race home and take off to the ranch. My mom’s youngest brother was only six months older than me, so we were pretty inseparable. We would spend
Now that school has finished, they are relishing in the freedom of summer. Outside the chores their mom gives them, they have no responsibilities, and their biggest concern is whose pool they’ll swim in during this season of pool-hopping. As I head off to work five days each week, I’m jealous of the memories they will create that day, and sometimes I still feel like I should have the summers off. Don’t get me wrong; I love my job. I could work each day until midnight, but I have always valued leaving work at the office and being present with my family. I’m notoriously selfish “Even with cross- country trips and backyard pool getaways, it’s still difficult to recapture the exuberance and freedom of summers from youth.”
the summer fishing, horseback riding, and target shooting, and I swear I spent half the summer camping in a tent in our yard. Of course, my parents and grandparents never saw this time as pure freedom for us kids. We still had to do our regular chores and help where we could on the ranch. I’m sure we complained about the work, but looking back, those chores were a great trade-off for getting to live there. I was still outside, goofing off with my uncle-turned-best-friend, and most of my days were spent exploring. I was so lucky. I may never again experience the thrilling freedom of the last day of school or summers spent on the ranch in Wyoming. Life gets busy, you grow older, and things change. But if you can take the weekends or a few days to capture a few chunks of it and spend it with those you love the most, summertime can be just as fun as an adult.
480.632.7373 1 -Kevin Jensen
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