Finding Summer

summer

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It’s Summer!

Summer changes when kids are “School-Aged”.

For one, they are a whole year smarter now than they were last summer.  So they remember what happened last year.  “Mom, are we going to the beach again this year?”  And they have better communication skills to discuss plans with friends.  “Hey, Melissa has a baby sitter so she doesn’t have to wake up early!”  “Hey, Mia’s mom takes her to the pool every day!”  “Mom, Jaden’s mom takes him to Hair Styling camp!  It starts at 11 am and ends at 2 pm!  Can I go, too, Mom???”

Dam you, Jaden’s mom.

And they make plans on their own without consulting you. “Mom, I told Ms. Celina that I’m going to see Winter and Hope.  You know, the dolphins?  We can go tomorrow.  Also, I need you to call Care.com for when we come back from Florida.  Only baby sitters with 4 or 5 stars, OK?  I already told Ms. Celina that today is my last day at Primrose.”

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Before kindergarten there really weren’t any summer “expectations”.  We could go on vacation whenever we wanted without having to work around the school schedule.  The kids were too young to know what was happening.  They’d go to sleep in Atlanta and wake up in Florida wondering what the white, grainy stuff was on their feet and why we were putting them in water for fun.

I got used to that.  And then it changed.

Last summer the kids still had their established bed times.  They still had to be up at their normal times to get to daycare so that my husband and I could go to work.  We made it to the beach for a week and we would go to the pool after work and on the weekends but that was really the only indicator to our kids that it was “summer”.

When I was a kid, summers meant staying up as late as we wanted.  It meant playing outside at night and catching lightening bugs in jars without adequate ventilation and sleeping until 10 am.  We didn’t have to wear anything other than a bathing suit if we didn’t want to.  We drank sugary drinks in containers shaped like a barrel.  We played in water hoses and sprinklers and ate popsicles and ice cream and pizza rolls EVERY DAY.

This summer it hit us.  Our kids need a real summer!  It’s hard when both parents work full time to take a risk that could throw off schedules and work obligations.  I’d love to have a baby sitter come to the house and stay with Bella.  But what if the baby sitter is sick or can’t make it for whatever reason?

The city has all kinds of super cool camps.  But most don’t start until 9 and end at 2 or 3.  If they offer extended hours it’s usually 8 or 8:30 until 5:30.

I am supposed to be at work by 7:30 (ok, ok, I usually get there around 8.  FINE!  8:15.  Happy now???) and sometimes I can’t leave the office until 5:30.

Or can I?

When Bella was little and I was a single mom I worked from around 7 am until about 4 pm so that I could bypass Atlanta traffic as much as possible and so that I could spend as much waking time as I could with her.  The company I worked for was VERY flexible with work schedules so it didn’t really matter.  I got used to that.  Then we had Roman and it still made sense to keep the same schedule.

{Let’s face it, I’m masochistic and love being yelled at, hit, kicked, pinched, and punched by a three-year old as much as humanly possible.  And I love being told by my seven-year old that no one gets her and that I don’t care about her when I tell her that we’re going to the park instead of watching an episode of Jessie.  Even more than that, I love waiting until they fall asleep and giving them a million kisses on their faces so they can’t wiggle away, and watching them breathe, and smelling their hair (don’t judge me). My little slice of Heaven.}

But maybe Bella’s onto something with this care.com thing.

Or maybe I could pretend to be a high school girl and infiltrate groups where I might meet someone I’d trust with my babies.  What?  Isn’t that what Drew Barrymore did in that movie that one time?

Change is so hard for me.  Even when I know it’s for the best and necessary.  But going from what is comfortable and functional for ME to what is comfortable and functional for my KIDS is something that I must do.  Bella is beyond bored at daycare summer camp and desperately needs to have FUN!

chess

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Folks, in the same way that Michael Scott declared bankruptcy on The Office, I’m declaring that my kiddies will have a SUMMER!!!!!!!

Am I the only person in the world with the work/kid schedule dilemma???

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2 thoughts on “Finding Summer

  1. I 100% agree and I’ve already strated worrying about this for Colin’s future and he’s only one!. I was lucky growning up, my parents were both school teachers so our summers were exactly the same as yours. I was never stuck going to daycare. It frustrates me that the only job with summers off is a teacher! I would actually rather kids be in school all year long with longer breaks here and there so family vacations could be planned throughout the year.

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