Seeing some kids recently in South Dallas walking around the neighborhood reminds me that summer is approaching. Meaning that it s arrival will usher in copious amounts of free time for our students. If you remember back to when you were growing up, this was a time filled with a variety of activities both good and bad or none at all. Good portions of my fondest childhood memories were made during the summer months from the end of May to the beginning of August. Every year without fail summer would come, and a new school year would follow. It s a very rhythmic process, with each year coming with it s beginnings and ends.
In being able to identify the ebb and flow to our lives, we like a surfer can learn to ride waves in the time we spend; whether it s simply with our family, friends or our proteges. This is helpful because it allows us to live life more intentionally and not haphazardly. So instead of running from one thing to the next we can see the year, months and weeks in blocks and develop rhythms or ways of living that encompass all of our commitments and passions without breaking our backs in the process.
One of the great things about summer is that you are always able to try new things with more consistency. It s also a great time of the year to forge lifelong memories. I encourage you to keep both in mind. In starting something new you can start a habit of meeting every other week, playing ball, have a time to read the word together, share meals together or make a list of new things to do together and knock them out one at a time. Begin to create a pattern, where you, your protege and their family know what to expect. In as far as creating memories goes talk to your protege about things they would love to do this summer, and present a list of suggestions from your own experience. Most of the memories I have are from new activities I got to experience everything from taking cattle out to pasture and riding a horse to working at a pick-n-pull and getting grimy delivering parts. Decide on a couple of special fun things, and on doing some normal consistent things.
The art in developing a rhythm isn t in just your relationship with your protege, but in seeing how their life can begin to overlap into your life with your friends and your family and their friends and their family.
-Carlos M. Sustaita, Mentor Coordinator