I am seeing so many patients this summer for their routine check ups and it makes me realize how much I love the elementary school years! All of the parenting years are great, but those years when your child is between the ages of 5 - 11 are especially precious! These are really the years that so many family memories are made.
When I am seeing these children for their check-ups I always ask them what they've been doing over the summer. Their faces light up as they talk about trips to see grandparents, or trips to the lake or special trips to the beach or the mountains. Whether the trip is just to the local pool or to far off places, these are the times that children love being with their family!! The family pictures are always of smiling children (many with missing teeth) who are so happy to be posing with their Mom, Dad and siblings doing the many things that families do during the lazy days of summer...swimming, boating, digging sand castles, fishing, cooking out...any number of summer activities. The pictures are always cute and the kids love being photographed. Great Christmas card material!
Now, fast forward to the tween-teen years. There are the same trips to see grandparents or to the beach and some lucky children will get to travel to exotic places. But, in many cases the kids are being forced to gather for that special picture. It is almost like you have to pull those front teeth to get them to pose for a picture. There is suddenly attitude in the photo. Have you had that same experience? How quickly our children change.
The elementary school years are so great!! The kids are big enough to travel, enjoy the trip and to behave (usually). The memories of being together with your children during a special summer trip and immortalizing it in photos is really a photo moment. (it is probably more like a digital moment these days) Pure joy!
You simply can't take enough pictures of your children experiencing a new adventure, or time spent with a grandparent or heading out for camp. These are the pictures that you will use one day for the high school yearbook page, or the graduation video or even the rehearsal dinner. Every family has these pictures and to remember the time together couldn't be more special!
So, go make memories with those 5-11 year olds. It doesn't get better.... and yes those special times do continue, but they maybe a bit different as your children hit that next phase the tween/teen years.
That's your daily dose for today. We'll chat again tomorrow.