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Back to school? Not just yet!
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It’s just about here, the start of school. For parents this might elicit a celebratory yell, for students it’s likely causing groans and whining. But for me, whose child will start “big kid school” for the first time this year, it makes me think that I’m missing something awesome; that there should be one last hurrah before we get down to the business of education. 

So I started thinking, what should we do before school starts? What is the one thing that we’ve missed this summer that NEEDS doing before we have to buckle down with stricter bedtimes and possibly (I hope so) homework of some form? I can’t think of just one, but I can think of a few…

Water park – We did Six Flags and it nearly killed me and almost got my kid traded in for a large PowerAde at one point (I’m kidding, don’t call children’s services!). But despite the lines and the heat, there were some really fun parts, and it showed me my little baby was a little boy, totally old enough to experience rides (when did that happen?!). So a water park might be hot as the surface of the sun, but we’ll be wet the whole time, so that’s a bonus. Plus, I don’t think I have to worry about anymore roller coasters. Not that my kid would mind, but I’m a wuss. 

There are also a lot of fun community pools around. Gwinnett County has some fun ones that even include water slides and are essentially like mini water parks. Plus, they’re only like, $2. And there’s the water park at High Falls, which is not as pimped out as those in Gwinnett County, but you get wet, and that’s the whole point. I don’t remember how much that one is, but my guess is it’s cheap.

Picking junk – We’ve picked strawberries, but that’s old hat around our house. We’ve never done peaches and it’s getting done before the summer is over. As long as there are peaches left. Same with blueberries – there has to be a farm where we can pick those around here somewhere; we do live in the country after all! My kid likes the picking; I like the freezing for future use in breads and muffins. There’s nothing quite like being able to use fresh frozen fruit in breads and muffins come December when any you might find in the store are tasteless and mealy. Plus, you can chat about how awesome that picking trip was while you make muffins together!

Mini golf – I know this sounds lame, but I was banned from playing this game when I was 19. Although I am sure many would like to know the story, that’s another tale for another time, my friends. 

I would like to break that personal ban with my son, and experience that with him. Who knows, he may be more coordinated than his mother, who sometimes walks randomly into walls, and be the next Tiger Woods. Hopefully with far less drama and prescription pain pills. But mini golf is good, clean fun. If you do Malibu Grand Prix in Norcross, you can smack balls in the batting cages and also race go-karts! 

I’m sure there are dozens of other things that would make your list of things your family needs to do before starting back to the grind of school in a couple weeks. Maybe you could just sit and watch a movie at home with popcorn – we do that all the time. It’s a great excuse to veg out and have some snuggle time with you little ones. If you need an excuse. Maybe you have a great idea for me – if so, share it! I’m always down to learn about new ways to have fun with my main man.

So celebrate the end of summer – though not the end of the heat, sadly – with some quality time. Spending time together doesn’t have to be lame, I promise. Just remember to make it more about the experience and less about how much you spend or what prize your kid gets at the end of the day.