In just a few short days summer vacation will officially begin. For two whole days my children will glory in the fact they can sleep in and not be on a set schedule. Then I will hear the dreaded question, "So Mom, what are we gonna do now?"
I used to show my kids a calendar that listed all the things we had to look forward to in the summer time. Summer reading at the library, maybe a camp for one of them. That just initiated count downs for the entire summer. So much so I was asked to literally look at the calendar and count weeks of my life away with my children. I stopped showing them calendars after that. Now I just ask them what chore they'd like to do first. When they groan I shamelessly bribe them with going to the pool to swim or offering to take them to whichever summer movie is out that we all really wanted to see. My oldest child has already begun worrying about what new thing we can come up with to celebrate her birthday this year. To which I very patiently remind her that we don't need to worry about that until my birthday has passed. Of course I remember being their age and the world of endless possibilities summer seemed to hold. Until you were told by one of your parents it was your turn to weed the garden and you were rudely ejected from your bed at a much earlier hour of the day than you wanted. Then the summer became a row of endless weeds some of which were prickly and awful unidentifiable bugs that bit you. But each season has its drawbacks.
Over the last few summers I've come to realize that you just can't do all the things you think you will in a few short weeks. It seems like in the spring that summer will never begin and you wait so long for the school year to end. Then it does and you blink and its over and you are shopping for school supplies again. So this year with our summer vacation already planned and our reservations made we have 9 weeks of unplanned fun to enjoy. Partly, because it is too exhausting running around trying to cram a bunch of activities into two and a half months, and partly to continue my resolution to live in the moment, I'm planning to concentrate our efforts on exploring the endless wonders closer to home.
By that I don't just mean the wonders in our hometown, though there are fun ones to explore here. I mean within a reasonable drive time of home, possibly where there might be family to stay with. When we go to visit my parents for instance we can maybe make a point of visiting a place close to them that we've never explored. Or when we go to Georgia to spend time with my sister we can do all the fun touristy things we've never done with the kids before, like taking them to the World of Coca Cola. And though both my kids are old enough that they will roll their eyes at me, I still plan to take us to some of the summer reading fun at the local library. One of my kids will give me a very deep sigh at hearing it, but I also plan to delve into lots of joint reading with him to help him improve his reading skills. What can I say? Smart as he is there is still room for improvement.
I am looking forward to summer and unfettered play time with my kids again. The world of endless wonders awaits us.