Yes, I know I haven’t posted a thing since early June. What happened to kicking your kids out the back door and letting them play all day while you accomplished all the tasks you didn’t have time to do during the school year – like cleaning the refrigerator, excavating the (poorly designed and who would put the shelves all the way in the very back like that) linen closet, or whatever it is that my Mom did when I was outside falling in the creek (again)?
These days, we can’t just shove our kids out the door and let them run all over the neighborhood, unfortunately. And that means that we can’t have those long, unscheduled days I remember from my own childhood summers. We have to get our kids to swim practice, or karate, or the camp shuttle, or whatever else we’ve signed them up for in the hope of not being too bored this summer.
What are we afraid of?
Back in the spring, when all the brochures and emails for summer camps and activities started coming, my youngest declared, “I will not attend ANY summer camps!” (This is not technically true. She did ask to go to some sort of 2 hour, every afternoon for a week, VIDEO GAME CAMP. This was not a make-your-own game camp, this was a sit-your-butt-in-the-chair-and-play-video-games-for-2-hours camp. My husband and I refused to pay for that. She can do that at home, and will, if given the opportunity.)
Anyway, after her little pronouncement, (while my husband was in the next room doing a happy dance about all the money we’d save), I had a little chat with her. I told her we wouldn’t force her to go to camps, but that she needed to do SOMETHING that involved exercise. She opted for a wonderful swim training program that meets only twice a week, and we’ve been quite happy with that.
I’ve waited all summer for her to be bored so I could say, “I told you so.” And while she has spent some time in front of the TV and some time developing her Minecraft world, she has also spent time in the backyard, playing with friends, and doing handstands at the pool.
So letting her schedule herself this summer has worked out beautifully. We rescued a stray kitten in our neighborhood who was covered with fleas. She took on the job of combing him out multiple times daily (with help, of course – I mean, ew, fleas . . . ), and attended his vet visits, and even talked to the veterinarians at the office about what it takes to become an animal doctor.
She has created whole imaginary worlds in her room.
Her brother has been busy with camps and karate and his friends, and so it’s been nice to watch my daughter branch out into her SELF, without her older sibling there all the time to guide her play.
So our summer is working out fine, even without a load of camps for our daughter. I apologize for the lack of weekly posts, but I’ve been busy watching my daughter grow.