Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Having summer second thoughts

The last few summers I've been pleased with how I planned out activities for the kids to keep them occupied. They've done summer enrichment programs, sports camps, a mission trip for youth group, swimming lessons, reading programs. It did put a damper on things when I wanted to schedule a trip and then couldn't because much of the summer was scheduled, but overall I was glad there was some structure and a schedule and things planned to prevent them from becoming couch potatoes.

You see, I don't do structure and scheduling well when left on my own. In my head, I will think, "Maybe tomorrow we'll go to the pool or the park. Then I get busy cleaning a sock drawer or writing an article or surfing the Web and before I know it it's 5:30 in the afternoon. Having a set time to be at a summer school class makes it happen. I go into a lazy mode in the summer and that's what I'm trying to prevent in my kids. Although I want summer to be more relaxed, I don't want it to be a stay-up-til-2 a.m. playing Minecraft-lounge-on-the-sofa-all-day-live-the-life-of-a-vampire kind of summer.

As the school year ended, I was just a bit overwhelmed. My father-in-law's health was declining and he passed away at the end of May. His memorial was a couple weeks later. We were also getting a party together to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. All of that going on, combined with the regular busy stuff of the end of the school year and work commitments just had me completely drained.   I wasn't in a peppy lets-plan-out-the-summer mode. We were all in a sad, droopy kind of mode at the beginning of summer that we're finally getting out of.

However, my worst fears were realized as soon as school was done. One of my teenagers slept 'til noon every day for the first couple weeks off. I was staying up late since I had no reason to be up early and because nighttime is the easiest time to get work done when the kids aren't in school and are now around 24/7, preventing you from getting into a zone of concentration. I spent about 2 weeks going to bed at 2 or 3 a.m. and sleeping until 10 a.m. It seemed we were all wandering with no direction. So, I'm going to buckle up and map out the rest of our summer as much as I can. I'll leave some lazy days here and there to do nothing. A little bit of nothing is a good thing, a lot of nothing - not so much.

I thought maybe it would be good for us all to just have some unscheduled time and chill. And it was. Well, I think we've had enough of it. Like five weeks of it.

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