Three more days of school, then 10+ weeks of summer break. My boys are counting the minutes. I’m not.
Don’t get me wrong, I love that we are going to be schedule-free. No morning rush, cranky car rides, math worksheets, book reports, dress codes, and dreaded fundraisers. Ah, free to do as we please.
Umm, one problem with that: the real possibility, probably just a week or two into the vacation my 8- and 10-year-old so desire, of boredom — the kind from which the following words will flow: “Mom, what can I do noooooow?” What Joey and Danny will hope I’ll offer in response: “Hey, why don’t you belly up to the computer, TV, iPod Touch, DSi, Wii, and any other mind-numbing device you can find.” But that line will not be in my script this summer. Sure, they’ll have time to plug in and tune out, but mostly, I’ll be heading them in a non-electronic direction from the start, to help prevent the nothing-to-do blues and to nip them in the bud when they do strike. This is how I want June, July, and August to go (ideas listed in no specific order):
I’m thinking a family book club, complete with Nana and two cousins. Joey and Danny can read books to Jordan and Tori, then we can all have a set amount of silent time with our library-picked books. Maybe some discussion. Maybe once or twice a week. Boys won’t like the idea; girls will love it. Hopefully, in time, we’ll all be on board.
We start journals every summer, we just never stick with them for very long. We’ll do better this time. To keep things clever, I’m going to ask the kiddos to write letters, directions, instructions — how do you prep a fishing pole for the big catch, for example. This is the dad’s idea, not mine. He’s pretty smart.
Some sort of exercise will be part of our every day. We can run, bike, swim, skate, doesn’t matter. We’re just gonna move. The guys will play on basketball teams for part of July and August, too.
We will bask in the glory of nature, caring for our backyard garden so it doesn’t fry in the Florida sun, and we’ll road trip it to all sorts of outdoor spots in our area, plus I know there will be plenty of weekend fishing and boating.
My pretty plantation shutters get very dusty, and I’m thinking I should not be the only one who cleans them. Bring on the chores.
Summer will allow us more time for walking dogs at the Humane Society. That makes us happy, especially Danny, who keeps tight tabs on the dogs that come and go from this no-kill shelter.
Playtime is key. And have you ever tried a Stomp Rocket? Make it a challenge by trying to catch the foam rocket as it lands.
We’re sticking with piano for the summer (and beyond), because the guys are really, really good at it, and we, the parents, like to live vicariously through them, as we know pretty much nothing about those black and white keys (they are called keys, aren’t they?).
Of course, we’ll lounge — in the grass, on the couch, in the movie theater — because summer wouldn’t be summer without some well-deserved slacking. More on movies: (1) our Family Film Festival is the works — we’ll stay up late and watch kid-friendly flicks — and (2) check with your local theaters for free summer movies. Where we live, two freebies are shown two days a week.
We will connect with friends every chance we get. We’ll have them over to hang with us, we’ll plan outtings, we’ll soak up social time while we can — before school resumes and our days get jam-packed again.
As for summer camps, there’s only one on the books, a three-day kids’ self defense event, which happens to cost nothing and is just perfect for our budget. Saving money — another good plan for Summer 2011!
In my perfect world, all of the above would happen seamlessly and with beautiful focus and control. I know better, and I’m sorta sure that most of what I dream for the next few months will occur in pieces and parts, or maybe not at all. I’ll just do my best to deliver, I’ll ask Joey and Danny to do the same, and I’ll be back in August to let you know how it all goes down. Stay tuned.