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Summer in the South

By Jamie Deen

I recently sat down with our oldest son, Jack, to get his thoughts on summer. Yes, summer—every kid’s dream season and the most challenging few months we parents face every year.

I asked Jack his favorite thing about summer, and of course, his response was, “No school”. “Too easy, Jack,” I responded. “Take a second and really think, what’s your favorite part of summer?”

After some consideration, he decided his favorite part of summer was spending more time with us, his family. We recognized that during the school year, we’re all so busy, we don’t see each other very often, and when we do, it’s usually at the homework table or in the tub.

Being separated from his friends was his biggest negative of the summer, but connecting through video games with his buddy group (they all have headsets) eases the pain. And that leads into our biggest challenge as parents—screen time. Ugh!

Of course, he also loves the pace of mornings in the summer—no rushing out the door, no uniforms, and no hairbrush! The summer reading list also came up pretty quickly in his list too. He loves to spend time in a cool, quiet part of the house reading; I think he gets that from me.

He had very few complaints other than missing friends, but he said sometimes it’s boring. Summer days are long, and filling each one with new, exciting things is hard. It’s my guess though that his “boring” is actually when we unplug the video games.

We love to travel as a family and get away a few times every summer to see my dad in Albany or friends in Atlanta. Going up to visit Athens is also a fun trip we look forward to.

Trying to keep kids happy and active while we maintain a schedule at work and for various obligations is tough, but every year, we manage to make it to the start of the school year. It’s all thanks to Brooke, of course; she is the master planner and keeper of all schedules.

Jack and I share a love for so many of the same fun things, so we chase through these three months together, but picking a favorite was easy: camp!

Jack and I would love to hear what you, your kids, or your grandkids like about summer. Let us know in the comments section!

Jamie Deen - Jamie Deen is an entrepreneur, businessman, author, and son of American cooking and lifestyle icon Paula Deen. Jamie has been an integral part of the now legendary business The Bag Lady – the famous sandwich delivery service that launched Paula Deen's success. Working with his mom and younger brother Bobby, Jamie delivered the "lunch-and-love-in-a-bag" that kick-started his mother's professional cooking career in Savannah, Georgia.

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