Say, how do you summer? Sounds a bit like “where do summer?” You know, the days of old or for the few that summer in the Hamptons or Martha’s Vineyard? Yes, this does sound beyond appealing to me but the summer I’m referring to is a little more of the “controlling the chaos” that happens to be summer vacation (as in school is out, yo!). How do you summer, is speak for, do you schedule every waking minute for your kids or are you the type that revels in the freedom of no schedule and the endless possiblities of the adverntures that await outside your front door?
Before I tell you where I fall in this specturm of summer style, I have to tell you that I have seen both sides at work in their extreme forms. I once knew a mom (from kindergarten) that scheduled e.v.e.r.y. minute of her little ones vacation time. The kids (again kindergarteners) were scheduled for camp almost every single week of summer. And when they were not at camp they were with a tutor or working on at home reading courses. The dad did not like them to have free time or something or the other. Then of course there are the ones that have no schedule at all. Everyone wakes up at will, eats when they like (which is usually every five minutes in my house as boredom =’s I want a snack), sits by the pool, plays and eats popsicles, all while the entire neighbor hood runs in and out of your doors to boot. You know the type, yes?
Me, well I like to think I’m somewhere in between. I tend to be this way on a lot of things. I like a little of this and a little of that. That is the best, isn’t it? If anything, I highly lean into the no schedule kind of summer side. I hate early mornings and I like nothing more than kids wondering about outside using their imaginations. Sometimes, ok, a lot of times, I feel like all of this scheduled activity business leaves very little room for imaginitive play. When I was a kid my mom would have to force me to come in at night. These days, I often feel like a mother’s number one role is that of a tour guide. Don’t get me wrong, everyone in my house wakes up around the same time, we eat all of our meals together (around the same times each day), I plan outings each week, my kids are in sports activities and, yes, my they are going to camp. I suppose I should confess that love schedules (ask my husband and mother, they think I’m a bit freakish) by nature and I have to live by them in some forms (I have two napping babies and am one of those that strongly, believe in babies being on schedules). But , within the everyday routines (and perhaps, that is the better word to use) free time, truly is free time. I send the (bigger) kids outside and say have at it (sometimes with constant coaxing as they want me to “do something”). I love nothing more than when they come up with some crazy scheme to sell rocks to the neighbors and make mud pies for aliens. Those are some of my favorite kind of childhood memories. I’m betting they are your favorite kinds too?
As I mentioned, my kids are going to camp. However, only for one week (daytime camp). Of course, I might send them for 2 weeks if it was in my budget but I think one week will do just fine. Trust me I will be good and tired by the end of summer. Truth is, I already am tired after 3 weeks of summer. Exhausted, almost. I will do a bit of happy dance when school starts back up but I’ll also probably have a few tears. I hate saying goodbye to the slower pace of sunshine days.
And now, for you, tell me friends … How do you do summer? Are you scheduled or free or somewhere in between?
*one fun thing we do each summer is make a, summer list, as in everything we want to do (little and big). I saw this idea a few years back on Meg’s blog and had to start my own. Our list hasn’t been anything elaborate and for the past two years we haven’t even crossed every item off our list (it’s ok, I was pregnant or with a newborn). I’m thinking this will be our year though. And what kind of things do you have on your summer list?