A Summer Bucket List

In some parts of the country, the dreaded “s” word is already back in session. In Seattle, it feels like we’ve just hit mid-summer, although the calendar shows only a few weeks before “back to school” becomes a harsh reality. At my house, this means it’s time to look over our “summer bucket list” and prioritize any items that don’t yet have a check mark next to them.

The summer bucket list is a ritual in our household. It came about quite by accident, a little over six years ago, when I was trying to come up with summer activities and experiences that would interest both my 7-year old and 13–year-old sons. Two brothers with more diverse interests, there never were. (The age difference didn’t help, either.)

Learning how each boy wanted to spend the summer was eye-opening for me. I learned that their wish lists were simple and more about creating memories than about expensive experiences. Coming up with the list was really a big part of the fun. But the biggest surprise of all was the joy that each boy took in helping the other accomplish their bucket list items. Who knew that musical theater and monster trucks could actually coexist…peacefully?

That first summer, each of my sons wrote the items from their list on little slips of paper and put them in their own bucket. The boys then took turns choosing something from their bucket for us to do on our “bucket list day”. Now that the boys are older, we compile individual and family summer bucket lists and check items off as they are accomplished.

Here’s my 13-year-old son’s bucket list for this summer:


Approaching July and August with our intentions written down seems to ensure that we don’t reach September and have remorse about having squandered the summer. (Although, I happen to believe that a little bit of squandering is what summer is all about.) We rarely accomplish all the things on our summer bucket list, but the list becomes a map of sorts for where we want summer to take us. Do you have a summer bucket list? There’s still time to decide how you’d most like to spend these waning weeks of summer.

Until next time,

Bird: An Irish Nickname

At a recent after-hours event at Bellevue, a mother and daughter taught me about an Irish nickname.  As they were shopping, the mother was immediately struck by the name of a blue glassybaby: Blue Bird.  She purchased the glassybaby for her daughter, Bridget Aumell, and explained the significance to me.  Their family is Irish, and in Ireland, a common nickname for “Bridget” is “Bird.”  Now, whenever I see the lovely blue color of Blue Bird, I am reminded of the Irish mother-daughter duo.

Bird – we hope you are enjoying your Blue Bird!