We are dangerously close to the end of the school year here and I realize once again I have skipped the schedule. I really thought this summer would be different as I have to report to a job with a boss (other than myself and picky clients) for the first time in years.
I had grand plans for camps and summer school and all manner of planned activities to keep the kids occupied. Then, we got caught up in the swirl of spring sports and school musicals and end of the year projects and by May 25th we were all so strung out and full of meltdowns that the thought of registering for anything other than a beach vacation was more than I could bear.
The fact is, I am an old-school parent. I totally understand the appeal of planned summer activities and sport camps and art school, but I just can’t bring myself to join in any of them. As far as I’m concerned, the only thing kids are supposed to do in the summer is climb trees, ride waves, play with bugs, sleep in and ultimately get so bored with all their time that they are forced to get creative.
I no longer have the luxury of being around for all this, but it is still possible with a babysitter. She’ll take them to the beach or a park or maybe they’ll stay home and make stuff. And on days where I have to work from home, they’ll do chores or read or figure it out. There is something to be said for figuring it out. People learn and grow from figuring it out.
Maybe my kids won’t be the best baseball players or elite soccer players or code the next great app before they’re 12 because I haven’t sent them to the good camps in the summer. But I hope someday, no matter what they turn out to be, they are grateful for their down time because I will continue to guard that, fight for it, and defend it until they become whatever it is they’re meant to be.
I have total confidence that they will figure it out.
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