All that to say, being intentional is an important part of parenting, I believe. Especially in the younger years. Both with our conversations and actions on a daily basis with our kids, and with the more specific ways we want to engage them in their world. The more intentional we are, the more natural it becomes, and the more "spontaneous" we can be with it. The more often I let my toddler "help" me make dinner, the more natural it becomes to accept that the process will take longer, be more messy, and that this is all part of the joy and fun in the tradition. It becomes easier and more fluid for me to want to invite her to help me the more times I actually do it. The same can be said of leaving the house to go on an "adventure", making time to read books together, or pulling out the paint for craft time.
So my solution to the problem of the summer doldrums is two-fold. One: Just say yes. It might not be something you really want to do, it might sound like too much work...but when your kiddo asks to go to the park or get an ice cream cone don't let 'no' be your automated response. Say yes more than you say no, and if you say no to something reasonable (like going to the park some morning) think of a time that you can follow-through with that activity. Then do it. Two: Initate. Come up with a handful of activities you want to do with your kids or family this summer. Then plan them out. Pencil them in. Talk about them and get the family revved up about them so that even if they are small things (like going to the community pool or going out for ice cream sundaes) they become an event to be excited about. Spontaneity may not look the same when we have young kids. It takes more planning and there is an edge of uncertainty because there's always the chance that somebody could be grumpy or refuse to nap beforehand. That doesn't mean it's an impossibility. We can still make memories and have fun with our kiddos in big and small ways if we do so intentionally.
Let's Make Some Memories!