by Tanya Kieneker

Sometimes we feel like very lazy parents. It’s true. We hear stories from friends about the adventurous things they’ve done with their kids—going on hikes, camping along the Baja, attending concerts… (Don’t even get me started on Disney Land or family camps!)

And us? We prefer to stay at home and make the kids find their own adventures in the backyard. You know—collecting worms, making scavenger hunts, counting grass blades. Fun stuff like that.

A few years back I saw the idea of a family “Summer Bucket List.” I figured we really should get up off the couch, so decided to give it a try—attempt to be a little engaged with our kids.

On the first day of summer break this year, I rolled out a long piece of paper, pulled out the markers, and let everyone loose on imagining all the fun things we could do over the next two months. Each of us added things we’d like to experience, or learn, or try, or build, or visit…

To be honest, most of it is wishful thinking. Here are a few things on this year’s list that will likely not happen:

Explore abandoned buildings. My husband Chris added this one. As if. Like I am going with my children into dilapidated, nearly collapsing, rust and rat infested buildings.

Camp at Spences Bridge. I Googled it—that’s almost three hours of driving—with my kids in the car. We can barely drive to the grocery store without pulling over and breaking up a cat fight. Not going to happen.

Wave Pool. I don’t do bathing suits. Enough said.

While Chris and the kids are adding these adventurous things, I make sure we throw in a few that I know will be easy to cross off.

Walk around Mill Lake (I think I can handle this)
Run in a race (My mom had already signed the kids up to do this – check)
Go to Play Abby (Perfect. I sit and drink coffee while they play. Love it.)

There you go—lazy parent.

However, since semantics can change everything, I think I’ll “reframe” this into something more positive: We prefer a simple life.

And in fact, it’s true. It’s actually one of our biggest family values. Living Simply. Perhaps this philosophy changes how you parent. Perhaps my lazy parenting is intentional.

Ya. I’m going with that.