As a kid, I loved summer. There was no school. Instead, there were vacations, camping trips, outings, playdates, toys, and books. I preferred shorts to jeans and bare feet to shoes. Summer brought tasty fruits of watermelon, strawberries, cherries, blueberries. We went swimming every day. While I always stayed a shade darker than albino, my hair would lighten to a light blonde. Midway through summer the monsoons would begin; terrible, beautiful thunderstorms crashing through the desert. Before the summer was over, I had my birthday. At an early age, I swore no matter how bored I became during the summer I would never give into it and never ever speak the dreaded words “I’m bored.”
So a couple of weeks ago when I realized summer was nearly upon us, my first feeling was elation, not panic. Summer. My first thought was I didn’t have to carpool the kids around; we didn’t have to be anywhere at anytime. Summer. I would have tons of time to catch up on blogging and writing and organizing and all the other stuff I needed to do. Summer. I would be free. Free.
Then it dawned on me. Oh. Summer. The kids are free. I wonder how long it would be before they tried to destroy each other in an ultimate contest of household domination. Not that they would actually be able to dominate after all rivals were slaughtered. The victor would have to clash with me, and I am the queen.
It’s not like I didn’t have a warning. One of my friends signed her sons up for almost every week for a different camp, excluding their vacation. When she learned that the summer was cut short by the idiots that run the school district, she rented a beach house in San Diego and signed the boys up for Sea World camp because her sons go to a private school that starts two weeks later than the district. (Side note: How awesome does summer camp at Sea World sound? Honestly, as a child, I would have sold my soul for that. As an adult, I wonder if they take first-borns.) My friend encouraged me with camps, but the thought of sending my boys away every day sounded a little crazy. And then there’s the price. Yeah.
So I waited. Until it’s about too late. Or is too late.
But I have plans! Every morning workbooks and reading. Every afternoon DVDs, crafts, science experiments, and swimming. Every evening really awesome sprinkler, catch (because Tornado E and Tornado S will learn to catch a ball, damnit), bike riding (again because Tornado E and Tornado S will learn to ride bikes, damnit), video games, and stories. Then there is the zoo and the library with its special summer programs. Even the mall has a few things. And rumor has it I may be able to have family passes to two of the museums in town. And to spice it all up, I’ve volunteered to watch a couple of my friends’ kids as my friends work.
See, awesome summer. Without camps.
I know. I’m doomed.
I wonder if any camps or programs are still open.