Yay summer! The season to slow down, relax, breathe deep breaths, and take in this special time with your kids. Grab life by the reins, and make meaningful memories with your family that will last a lifetime. Have you stopped to think that your kids get 18 summers before adulthood truly kicks in and summer takes on a different meaning. I am not the first person to announce this—I recently read a blog post about it on Simple as That, discussing the concept of 18 Summers.

Not to sound depressing, but 18 summers, that really isn’t much. A lot of kids start working in the summers before they are 18. So let’s say on average kids actually get 16 summers of childhood before they join the grind of a working person.

What stands out to you as awesome memories from your childhood summers? For me it is the two weeks of summer that my family spent at my grandparent’s cottage on a lake in Michigan. That time was magical to me and the memories still are. I looked forward to those two weeks from the minute school let out until the minute we turned down the gravel road that took us to their lake front cottage. We wore bathing suits from sunup to sundown. I remember both my grandmother and my parents dragging our pruned bodies out of the lake and into a real shower before dinner. If it was our lucky day, they allowed us to shower in the lake.

We fished for lake perch off the dock in the evenings. We roasted a lot of marshmallows, and if we were really good, we’d go for ice cream. My grandfather woke at dawn and would buy fresh doughnuts every morning. My grandmother always made us wait 30 minutes after eating lunch, consisting of ring bologna on Ritz Crackers with mustard, before we could return to the lake for our afternoon session.

As an adult, I cherish the photographs I have from my time at the lake. A photo of me in an orange life jacket on the boat when I was barely old enough to walk. A photo from the first time I got up on water skis. Photos from lunch on the porch in our bathing suits impatiently waiting to get back in the water. When I look at these photos, I am taken back to the moments of my summer childhoods at the lake.

So I ask you, what are the summer memories you want to preserve for your kids? Glamping at mountain reservoirs? Visiting the local splash pad? Warm summer evenings at the farmer’s market with live music and delicious food? Swinging from the old oak tree? Whatever your summer ritual might be, I am here to help you document that you were also part of your kids’ 18 summers.

A young girl in motion on her dad's lap swinging from a tree

blurred photo of a girl running through a splash pad