The Gift of Summer Break

Can you believe it’s June already and summer is just around the corner? I love these days when supper moves from the kitchen to the back deck and flip flops are the footwear of choice.

For many parents, summer means a break–from making school lunches, from signing never-ending school forms and from updating that dreaded schedule on the fridge. In some cases, this is when parents try desperately to plan the perfect summer vacation (without going bankrupt in the process).

My mother always used to say that for her, summer vacation was a time to sit back, relax, reflect and be thankful for the highs and lows of the last year. When I think of her raising nine kids and managing our schedules, I wonder how much time she actually got to reflect.

I smile at the thought of her finally reaching our vacation cottage on the first day of summer break. I can see the moment when she sat on the end of the dock, feet dangling in the water, sun beating down on her face, whispering “Thank you” to the air for another successful school year full of moments to cherish.

Physical LiteracySummer break is a time to reflect. In the previous year, hockey and baseball created amazing friendships for our family. I often wonder if we would have ever met these incredible people had we not cheered next to them on the ball diamond and shivered next to them at the rink. Would my son have had such a bond with these boys had they not been teammates for so many years? Would my daughter have known these incredible girls who taught her that it’s more fun to build other females up than it is to tear them down? More importantly, would my husband and I have had the time with our kids that sports provided had it not been for these incredible moments?

Yet if I’m going to look back and reflect on all I’m thankful for, it wouldn’t hurt to reflect on what I could have done differently. Perhaps I shouldn’t have yelled “RUN!” when my daughter hit a foul ball. Maybe yelling at the ref when he gave my son a penalty wasn’t the way to go either.

So as the waves crash the side of the dock I tell myself the following: Next season I’ll be better. Next season I won’t make their experience about me.

Allyson Tufts is a new author that has had many meaningful careers to date in non-profit, social work and human resources. Her proudest accomplishment is that of being a wife and mother. She spent many years watching her son and daughter enjoy their extra curricular activities. Nothing could prepare her for the stress of standing behind her son’s net for his debut as a goalie. As her experiences as a hockey mom started to pile up, she realized that not only were they funny, most importantly, they could be helpful to other parents going through their own experiences watching their kids in sport. She decided to take the leap and put her stories into her first book and so was born, “Lessons from Behind the Glass.” For more information on Allyson Tufts or to purchase her book, please visit

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