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My children appear to move through summer fun with all the speed and agility of expert windsurfers. Meanwhile, I struggle just to keep up, finding life’s navigation more similar to piloting an ocean liner. I am the family “cruise director,” in charge of activities, entertainment and scheduling, and I work on a much bigger boat! Much as I would love to be a “spur of the moment” mom, usually I need a lot more turning room. When I shared these thoughts with a friend, he reminded me that even cruise ships send out smaller vessels from time to time.

The illustration really captured me. After all, I spent most of my childhood around boats. I began married life on a Disney cruise, and celebrated my first weeks of expectant parenthood with a European sea voyage. Next year I hope to take our first high school graduate on a cruise through the Mediterranean. All in all, I think cruises are a fabulous way to explore the world!

I got even more excited by the metaphor as I began see all the various aspects of cruise ship life that paralleled our family routine. It was easy to picture summer vacation as one long, glorious cruise, and found the imagery added some much-needed inspiration to everyday activities. Play dates and other outings could be “excursions,” and tedious chores transformed into “staff assignments.” Moreover, the possibilities for creative meal-planning had my mouth watering. After all, what would a cruise be without all kinds of delicious food?

I am always thankful for inspiration and opportunities to “tour” summer in a fun and innovative way. After all, it takes a lot of resourcefulness to survive long hot days at home with four active children! It was this same ingenuity that brought us such fond summer memories as “Pirate Day” and “Home Camp.” I am also delighted that my children have been just as eager to get “on board.” We can’t wait to see where our travels take us!