When I was a kid, summers were magical. I went to day camp a bit for a few years, but I remember summer being a time of endless adventure, full of friends and fun and possibilities around every corner. There was usually a road-trip or two to visit relatives, and the long-since-obsolete visits from the library truck that would come around our townhouse complex weekly, for arts and crafts and book exchange. We would run through sprinklers, eat freezies, play baseball in the field and come in when the streetlights went on. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that I grew up on a street very similar to Sesame Street—completely safe, ruled by kids and supported by adults that we all knew, and who all knew us—minus the brightly-coloured puppets, of course. Our summers were loose and lazy and we ended our days dirty and tired, and happy. Summer, to us kids, was the Promised Land.
And now, I am a parent, and now, a SAHM. Summers will no longer be the jurisdiction of the nanny or the babysitter, and my kids are getting old enough to tell me they’re bored. And it’s going to be up to me to keep them busy.
Summers don’t seem quite as magical from this side.
Don’t get me wrong—I prefer not to have a schedule, not to have to make lunches, not to have to spend my days chauffeuring my kids to school and activities. But it did take up a good portion of the day—a portion of the day I am now charged with finding something to do with. And we don’t live on Sesame Street anymore.
My older daughter will be at riding camp for one week, but that’s it, and I didn’t put my four-year-old into any camps (didn’t like the 10:1 ratios of child to adult that the local camps offered). We can probably find a workshop or two here or there, but otherwise, we have less than four weeks until school ends, and I’ve got nothing really planned. Yes, my in-laws have a pool, and there is a phenomenal 15-acre playground with a grand splash park right a few blocks away, but we won’t spend every day there. In between pools and parks, I’m going to have to come up with stuff. Lots of stuff. (Oh, and also find time to get my freelance work done.)
I love spending time with my kids, love arts and crafts, reading, baking, and all that fun stuff, but it’s still daunting to think of the weeks—months—ahead. So, I need your help—what do we do with ourselves all summer?
Karen Green recently traded life in the biggest city in Canada for life in the biggest cornfield in Canada. Freed from her full-time job as a writer and editor, Karen now spends her time…writing and editing. And frolicking in the leaves with her two small girls. Karen is a speaker, the founder of Mom The Vote and the author of the blog, The Kids Are Alright, where she has been writing about the humorous and poignant moments of family life since 2005. She is thrilled to be a part of canadianfamily.ca.