A Different Kind of Summer

I have to make some admissions.  I spent the first few weeks (ok, month and a half) of this summer on the run.  I had all three kids in different camps, in three different towns, going on different days and different hours.  Good Plan. 

I also had made a great big summer therapy schedule for my daughter, Shea, so that she could keep up on her PT and OT during the three months, God forbid she miss a day of therapy and just be a kid.  In addition, I felt the need to push Finn into summer baseball, because I had felt guilty that I forgot to sign him up for the league in our own town which would have been easier.  Tried in vane to get McKenna to various summer playgroups with her school friends, so she could keep up those ultra valuable 3-year-old relationships that were bound to help determine her path in life. 

What the hell is wrong with me?  Really?  When I write (and read this) I sound like a complete nutcase.

Oh, and in addition, in case I got bored or sat down, I also tried to get my kids to the pool as often as possible, so that I could justify the price of the pool pass.  And have friends over for dinner and entertaining with their kids.  And work my job 15 to 20 hours a week from home.  And serve on two separate boards that I am passionate about.  And get my book proposal off to several agents. 

Really.  Someone send the padded truck.

But the last few days, no one wanted to go to camp.  They wanted to hang out.  They wanted to stay in their jammies and eat Popsicles for breakfast and veg out in front of the tv or play endless video games.  And you know what?  They are fine.  They are happy.  They are relaxed.  They are trashing my house.  But it feels good.

I don't know why I feel the need to provide a three ring circus of entertainment for them, or I am a bad Mom.  They are tired after long months of school and therapies and driving all over the frickin world to get from one activity to another.  They need a break.  They need to chill, to relax, to have no demands on them.  They are kids.

I had dinner with a group of Moms, and one said that her and her son just woke up slow, went for bike rides, maybe stopped at a pool, did nothing.  I was amazed that it was enough for her son.  Isn't he saying he is bored, doesn't he beg you to go do something.  "No."  He was fine, she was relaxed, all was good.

That conversation was like a smack in the head.  It honestly gave me permission to just let my kids be.  Miss camp.  Watch TV.  Play legos.  Make barbie schools.  Go on the swings in the backyard.  I took a good look at my 8 year old son saying he didn't want to go to camp and play kickball, and looked at the bags under his little eyes and realized "This guy is tired.  He NEEDS a break."

I just so wanted my kids to have the summers I remember.  Staying out late and catching fireflies, or playing kick the can on the streets after dark until our Mom called us in.  Going to the pool by ourselves for the whole entire day and having Mrs. Cherneff load us all in the car to drive to Dairy Queen at night. 

But my kids can't stay out by themselves or go to the pool by themselves.  They don't play outside really without supervision.  The world has changed, this neighborhood has changed since I was a little girl.  In the old days it was filled with families and kids.  Now we make playdates with kids blocks away and plan it in our calendars weeks ahead to fit into everyone's schedules. 

My kids are having a different kind of summer than I did, than my husband did.  But that's ok.  They are happy, healthy and ok.  Different doesn't mean bad, it just means different.

All the best,

Patty

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