I don’t think of summer as being just a “season” . . . or even a state of mind – but rather a “state of being.” And I worry that we often snatch our children out of that state of being long before the summer season ends and the anticipation of the school year begins. We do this out of love, of course – we want them to “succeed” so we place them into so many different activities and push them to excel in hopes that they will find their gifts. God does give gifts specific to each of us and he wants our children to succeed and excel too, but I believe that He measures success very differently from the way we do today in our society. I think He just wants our children to know Love, to know Wonder and to know childhood. I think those are the greatest gifts we can show and give to our children. I think if they get all of that from us they will very likely find true success and be very passionate about life. I guess that is why I mourn the end of summer because summer is all those things – love, wonder and childhood. There is plenty of time to be with friends and family, time to explore the world and time to play. As we plan out the year for our children and are actively “raising them,” we are training them to be good little people who will one day be good big people. We are giving them a sense of worth and pride – teaching them commitment, teamwork and all those important things that they learn through school and activities. But let’s not lose sight of the greatest God-given process that trains a child to be an adult – childhood itself. The end of summer may be just around the corner but let’s allow our children time to explore, play, reflect, breath, and find peace and love throughout the year.
As summer gardens begin to hit the height of their production, I hope you’ll enjoy this vegetable casserole made up of so many delicious things!