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Today's Family Magazine

MOMMY CHRONICLES: It's summer and it's time to celebrate!

By Stacy Turner

In the early days of sheltering in place, my family used the extra time at home to clean out drawers and closets.  We cleared out lots of perfectly good stuff, donating it to people who could actually use it, instead of sitting unused.  But we also unearthed boxes of treasures we’d held onto, forgotten and collecting dust, waiting for the ‘right’ time that never seemed to happen.   Or maybe that special time came and went, but we were just too busy to notice.  

Being at home for an extended period gave us that time to consider why we kept those items, and more importantly, why we hadn’t enjoyed them.  It forced us to rethink things we had taken for granted as even major life events like weddings were changed or canceled.  In the days when gathering to remember family and friends at funerals became difficult or impossible, we were struck by the unavoidable realization that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.  And while that may be true, the pandemic now made it impossible to deny and put into stark perspective those treasures we’d been waiting to let ourselves enjoy.  Being faced so directly with the hereafter pushed us to do a better job of celebrating the here and now. 

So why not break out those ‘good’ dishes you’ve hidden away on a regular old Wednesday, since the pretty pattern makes a regular dinner feel fancy?  When coming across an old photo album that makes you think of your aunt, why not send her a note or make that call you’ve been meaning to.  When you dust off that wine bottle you picked up on a long ago vacation, why not pull the cork and relive the memories of that adventure?  Instead of keeping that fancy scented candle in a box, burn it and make today a special occasion.  And, for goodness sake, set aside your diet and eat some cake once in a while.  There’s no denying this year has been challenging; but we’ve made it this far, and that’s reason enough to celebrate. 

And as pandemic restrictions continue to recede and life has begun to feel more normal, don’t forget to make time to enjoy the treasures each new day brings.  It’s still helpful, healthy, and even necessary to make time to celebrate, because life is a gift we each get to unwrap every day.  So ask yourself, how can you make the most of yours today?

We plan to celebrate the end of school with a cookout and bonfire. And we’ll be waving our flags on Flag Day (June 14), celebrating dads on the 20th, and reveling on Independence Day with patriotic pride galore.   Those holidays on the summer calendar give us permission to stop, appreciate, and celebrate.  But in case you need more inspiration, there are plenty not-as-well-known days on the calendar to give you a reason to make your days special.

Why not salute with a cream stick on National Donut Day (June 4), celebrate summer’s bounty on Corn on the Cob Day (June 11), or Corn Fritter Day (July 16)?  Create a blockbuster summer memory on Drive-in Movie Day (June 6), cool off on Swim a Lap Day (June 24), or gaze up at the night sky on Meteor Watch Day (June 30), or World UFO Day (July 2).  Raise your glass on Iced Tea Day (June 10) or Bourbon Day (June 14) to toast the coming of another summer.

These warm sunny days are the ideal time to enjoy a frozen treat on National Ice Cream Day (July 18) or dine al fresco on International Picnic Day (June 18).  Get wild and crazy on Pandemonium Day (July 14), get some exercise on Take Your Pants for a Walk Day (July 27) or pick up a new skill on Nature Photography Day (June 15), World Juggling Day (June 19), or Uncommon Musical Instrument Day (July 31).  Don’t mind me, I’ll be getting ready for one of my new favorite holidays, Embrace Your Geekness Day (July 13).

With the summer calendar spread out before you, do your best to make the most of the present.  It’s truly a gift, just like that box of grandma’s recipes unearthed in the closet.