Disappearing Babies and the Teen-Friendly Summer Bucket List

My babies are disappearing.

The once tinkling explosions of giggles at extracting a nervous cricket from a stone wall now mutter with the groggy, deepened voices of men when I call into their darkened bedrooms to wake them before school.

The once chubby legs that raced across the daycare floor into my eager arms now stretch out, impossibly long, on their towering frames.

The chins that were painted with macaroni and cheese and bits of banana now display the little nicks and scrapes of razor blades.

Adventure was jumping in puddles, eating corn on the cob, feeding geese at a pond. Now it’s taking college-prep classes, Skyping while gaming with friends, reading iFunnies that I never seem to get.

My babies have disappeared. In their place are two almost-men and an unknown set of adventures in a just-as-thrilling frontier that stretches before us.

The Teen-Friendly Summer Bucket List

What does summer family time mean to me?

My father was a schoolteacher. My husband is a schoolteacher. I am a schoolteacher. Do you know those maps that take a city and exaggerate its prominence in a map of the world? That’s how the summer appears in the calendars of my life.

I felt the pangs of change looking over the sweet summer bucket lists of mothers with small children: make sidewalk chalk paint, make homemade bubbles, make flubber. Yes, those days are behind us.

How many family summers are left before jobs and girlfriends take over their lives? Maybe just this one. Better make the most of it.

Here is the teen-friendly summer bucket list:

  1. Play family doubles on a grass tennis court.
  2. Go tubing down the Farmington River.
  3. Jump off a cliff.
  4. Go canoeing or kayaking.
  5. Go paintballing.
  6. Go indoor skydiving.
  7. Get all five stars in Rock Band 2.
  8. Go for a family bike ride.
  9. Check out LARPing.
  10. Get matching tattoos (just kidding).
  11. Visit Mystic Seaport or Mystic Aquarium.
  12. Attend the US Open as a family.
  13. Have a cookout that ends with s’mores.
  14. Go on a picnic.
  15. Go for a hike.

What’s on your summer bucket list?

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About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.

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43 Responses to Disappearing Babies and the Teen-Friendly Summer Bucket List

  1. Jennifer says:

    That’s a great summer bucket list! (That’s a shame about number 10 though (:) With mine being 9, 12, and 15 it’s tough to find something appealing for all 3. I’m definitely feeling your pain with the 15 year old though. She’ll be 16 this year and I have to cover my ears because the clock is ticking so loudly…
    Jennifer recently posted..The boy makes me smileMy Profile

  2. Kristen says:

    Ahhhh – this brought tears to my eyes. My oldest is 10 and I’m already seeing the change from wanting to hang out with us to summer being all about his friend time!

    Your list is so fun – can I come join you? 🙂 Totally going to pin this and share it on twitter as I’m sure there are many moms in the same position looking for some ideas for their teens.
    Kristen recently posted..Simple Appetizer – Cheesy Shredded Chicken BitesMy Profile

  3. Oh, I got a little teary reading this. My girls are 3.5 and 6 years old. I have been looking forward to the summer b/c I’ve been missing my kindergartener. And I can’t wait to spend time with her. I dread the days to come when she prefers to hang out with anyone but me. 🙁 But I’m hoping maybe I’ll get lucky and she’ll be one of those teenagers who doesn’t despise her mom. I didn’t despise mine, so there’s hope, right?

    PS – found you via WOE.
    JD @ Honest Mom recently posted..Just when I thought I was awesome, I wasn’t.My Profile

    • Marcy says:

      I think I understand now why some parents end up waiting so eagerly for grandchildren, and then they get to do it all again. (But I’m not in any hurry for that!) 🙂

  4. Karla McClain says:

    S’mores definitely will be on mine–haven’t quite gotten around to making my list, but I know that I’d love to do the Butterfly place in MA, and trying to hit as many children’s museums as possible (with our Lutz pass because it is reciprical with many other museums).

  5. Carol Apple says:

    Marcy – Hello from a fellow 2-teenage son Mom. Although this will be the last summer I can say that since my eldest will be turning 20 next December.(!!!) Love your bucket list. I do miss the days we used to go to the pool at the Y, blow bubbles, and cook out during the summer. Well, at least the cookouts get to stay. My younger son does not even want a not-so-sweet 16 party in June. “Let’s just cook some steak on the grill.” Sigh. New phases.
    Carol Apple recently posted..Fifteen picture books remembered through the decadesMy Profile

  6. They really do grow up so quickly. I love this idea of pre-planning future memories. Thanks so much for sharing your list. It’s inspiring me to draw up one for our family.
    Rebecca Schorr recently posted..Memorial Day RevisitedMy Profile

  7. I am so right there with you! I LOVED this! My oldest boy just turned 15 this weekend, so we all skipped town and went to the beach. Time is speeding up, and I just want to keep him with us a little longer. Erin
    Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms recently posted..The Best Homes Are People Not PlacesMy Profile

    • Marcy says:

      That’s great that you could all get away together to the beach. I can’t believe college isn’t that far away.

  8. Shannon says:

    Oh, this one got to me! My own “baby” just turned 13 a couple weeks ago. Of course, there are some days when the snotty teenager kicks in full force and I want to kill him, but most of the time I’m almost weepy remembering the old days. I’ll have to try to come up with a bucket list for us this summer that doesn’t involve him spending all his time playing Minecraft.

  9. Sara says:

    So sweet. I love the photos. My boys are ages 2 and almost-5. I wonder what they’ll be like in ten years! In the meantime, I’m enjoying the under-5 days (most of the time!).
    Sara recently posted..What makes a hero?My Profile

  10. Robbie says:

    I love the photos! I know it is trite but the older I get the faster time passes. We went to Mystic Seaport nearly 13 years ago on our honeymoon and it was fantastic. Also what is LARPing?
    Robbie recently posted..There’s No Crying at the ParkMy Profile

    • Marcy says:

      It is so true, even if it’s trite! 🙂 I love Mystic too, and I haven’t been in about 10 years. LARPing is Live Action Role Playing–people dressing up in costumes like they’re in a video game and battling. I guess it’s something like that; I haven’t seen it before.

  11. Mamarific says:

    I feel like I have disappearing babies, too! Sniff, sniff. Great list for teens.
    Mamarific recently posted..GNO: The White Girl’s Overbite, Part IMy Profile

  12. Heya Marcy, just popping by to let you know I have given you an award on my blog! Hugs!
    TortugaRachel recently posted..I Are Kreativ… So ThereMy Profile

  13. Mayor Gia says:

    Tennis fans! I like it!
    Mayor Gia recently posted..Awards, Announcements, and Other ThingsMy Profile

  14. Loved your post and your bucket list (minus the jumping off a cliff…are you guys crazy?). I’ve been reflecting on my kids lately, so I smiled when I read your reflections. They do grow up quickly, don’t they? Two of mine are mostly grown up (almost 17 and almost 21), but my youngest is still somewhat of a little kid in a grown up body (12-year-old). I really, really enjoy this older stage though. I find so much joy just listening to their conversations and laughter. It’s still weird though when a “man” answers me from the other room and he’s sportin’ an unshaven face (really, when did that happen)?

    I hope you have a wonderful summer with your boys :).

  15. jamie says:

    What a great bucket list. And this post is so heartwarming… they grow up in a blink of an eye, don’t they? 😉

  16. Patricia P says:

    Aww! My oldest is twelve, and he disappears for hours at a time with his friends. I’m happy for him, and yet I miss the time when he wouldn’t venture anywhere without me.
    Patricia P recently posted..The Plague is Running Through Our HouseMy Profile

  17. Oh I do know how it feels to watch your babies disappear! My son is now 19, and it is amazing how fast it all went by. It’s lovely in one way, and very bittersweet in another. You’ve written such a beautiful post (I got a bit of a tear in my eye!), and I really like the teen-friendly summer bucket list. Sounds like it’s going to be a great summer!
    April @ The 21st Century Housewife recently posted..Ginger Jam Bread and Butter PuddingMy Profile

  18. christina says:

    this post is so beautiful. and i love that you all do all of those family things together. your boys will always be your babies and they will always be so very lucky to have you as their mama. clearly. wow.
    christina recently posted..Good Morning, Sunshine!My Profile

  19. IASoupMama says:

    Oh, how bittersweet! My oldest is turning 7 and I am already amazed at how fast the time flies. My youngest girls are 13.5 months and I want to pinch myself every time I think, “If they were just a bit older, this would be so much easier” because they are absolutelypositivelydefinitely my last kids and I’ll never again have kids as young as 13.5 months.
    IASoupMama recently posted..Please Don’t Need MeMy Profile

  20. Shannon says:

    I love the idea of the summer bucket list. I have two boys too (actually three, but two that are close in age like yours) and I was touched by the pictures – even in the current photo, they still look close. I hope mine will be too in a few years. It’s a little sad when our babies disappear, but I always feel happy about how the list of activities we can do together is growing. For me right now, I’m excited that we can finally go for longer bike rides. Thanks for sharing, Marcy – I think you’ve inspired me to make my own list!
    Shannon recently posted..Safer Lives When We Played With KnivesMy Profile

    • Marcy says:

      Good luck with your list! I think having the list will help us get out of the house together more. I hope they’ll stay close. They’ll be at the high school together next year.

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  22. My husband and I were both teachers so we spent summers traveling with our three daughters. When they were 5, 3 and 1 and a half, we loaded them into the car, hooked up our pop up trailer, and set out on a 7-week camping trip across the country. Our friends thought we had lost our minds and maybe we had (certainly at some point during the trip), but the memories have literally lasted a lifetime. Our youngest didn’t speak when we started the trip but 6 weeks later, she talked a blue streak. We figured she had to learn to talk. It was the only way she could say, “Get me out of the car!” I love this blog, by the way.
    Debby Carroll recently posted..Kick Yourself in the Head!My Profile

    • Marcy says:

      How fantastic! I love road trips (except when I’m hating them, that is!) and have always wanted to do an extended camping trip. Thanks!

  23. What a great list!! My son just turned 13 and I’ve suggested similar ideas to him, but all he wants to do is play on the computer (Yes, Minecraft – among others). His other ideas of having fun include walking around the mall and well, that’s about it unless you count walking around the mall and spending mom’s money as a separate activity.

    At the end of the day, I realize I pretty much just have to drag him kicking & screaming to the car and then….well, he’ll have fun!
    Melissa Say What? recently posted..{Review} The CouponizerMy Profile

  24. Anoush W says:

    With tall 11- & quirky, fun 17-yr-old boys, I’ve managed to do pretty well, but August has me searching for ideas for these last few weeks. This was an *excellent* list for us. It makes me nostalgic to read the “make sidewalk chalk, visit the zoo” lists, too, but LARPing seems like a great way to play into their imaginations…kind of like an older version of playing dress-up! (They would be so insulted to see that comment;-)
    Thanks so much for the list!

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