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A Fool Proof Guide to the Best Summer Ever

At this point in the year, I’ve abandoned all hope of fulfilling my New Year’s Resolutions. I’m honestly not even sure what they are. Maybe eat more hot dogs? I don’t know. I’m not even the same person I was six months ago, so you can’t hold me to the promises I made at that time in my life. My interests have shifted (hot dogs are so last year) and now I’m focused on summer. Today is the last day of school for my kids which means beginning tomorrow, I become a full-time dad without the ability to lean on the public school system for childcare, discipline, and nutrition. It’s all on me. Every day. For the next three months.

A lesser parent would shy away from the situation, but I welcome the challenge. In fact, I’m determined to make this the Best Summer Ever. In order to set the tone for the Best Summer Ever, I’m establishing some new Half-Year’s Resolutions. They are completely unrealistic and there’s no way I can stick to them, but it’s important to aim high, right? Visualize success. Be the ball.

1. Ride bikes every day

Doesn’t matter if it’s an epic all day mission through Dupont State Forest or just a spin around the cul-de-sac, I want to ride with my kids daily. I want them to get so used to riding their bikes, that when it comes time to run an errand, they automatically put their helmets on because the bike is the default mode of transportation.

2. Camp more

I say this at the beginning of every summer, but this time I mean it. This is the summer we camp more. Car camping, backpacking, festival camping, backyard camping…

3. Spend more time at the lake house

The trouble here is I don’t have a lake house, so maybe I should revise that to say “buy a lake house.”

4. Early morning road rides

Because my wife works and I have the kids all day, my only window to get any sort of adventure or workout is between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. I think the sun is up at that time, but honestly, I don’t know. I’m going to find a bunch of retirees to hang out and join their dawn patrol group rides so I can stay motivated.

5. Day drink more

This one pretty much takes care of itself (see full-time parent, above).

6. Become a river rat

We took the kids whitewater rafting for the first time last summer on the Tuckasegee. It’s the perfect intro to whitewater, but this year I want to step it up. Nantahala, Section 9 of the French Broad, Nolichucky…

7. Tube more

It’s shameful how little tubing we did last year. The French Broad runs a mile from my house and has no less than 36 bars with river-front access. I should be there every day (see day drinking, above).

So, there you have it. My plan for the Best Summer Ever. To all of my editors, I might be late on a few deadlines over the next few months (see resolution 1-7, above). School’s out. Summer is here. God help us all.

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