Well, today is the last day of the school year! Summer vacation begins precisely at 12:45pm – sleeping in, unstructured days, trips to the pool and the beach, backyard exploring, roadside lemonade stands….woo-hoo!!
Who am I kidding? I work. And because I work, “A” goes to camp – multiple weeks of camp, actually, that need to cover most of the two-month break because corporate America does not recess for the summer. Although it would be really, really nice to have a few weeks of lounging around, the truth is, after two weeks, we would be looking at each other and wondering, what we were going to do next.
As a kid, I never went to camp. I spent my summers laying on our front porch reading books (I read the entire Nancy Drew series one summer, every Judy Blume novel the next), walking to the strip mall for a cone, and watching ‘Days of Our Lives’ with my BFF Linda and her mom (even though my own mother strictly forbid soap operas – sorry mom!). I had the never-ending summer days that I think I long for now. I envied the kids who got on the yellow school bus at 8am and returned home around 4pm wearing their camp logo t-shirts. The whole idea of camp was very intriguing to me – in my mind, it was some sort of secret club to which I would never belong. A place where you learned to make pottery and paddle a canoe, weave friendship bracelets with your new best pals, and at the end of the day, someone in khaki shorts would play Taps on a bugle. That’s what it was like in my imagination anyway…
Although during the week, “A” will be a camper, he will return to the same town-run day camp that he has attended for the past five years. He’ll meet-up with his camp buddies who he has not seen since last year and it will be like an old homecoming reunion. He’ll sign up for sports, arts and crafts, learn to make smoothies or bagel pizzas, and join something called Camp Idol where he and his buds will sing or dance in a performance for the other campers – nobody gets a million dollar recording contract, just lots of applause from other enthusiastic campers. This is his summer, the one that I never had.
However, in my never ending quest for balance in our lives (ha! who am I kidding), I’m aiming to integrate some of those easy-breezy days into our weekends so that he gets to experience both; time to take a nap on sultry summer afternoons, take a hike in the cool, dewy mornings, or just wander along the shoreline, turning over rocks and looking for crabs. Maybe we will even rent a kayak or make some paint-and-bake pottery…but I’m pretty sure hubby will not be learning to bugle.
What’s on your summer wish-list? Is there anything that you long to do on hot summer days? Something you feel you missed in your youth that you’re making sure that your children experience?