Tuesday, July 07, 2009

What happened to summer?

I find myself eyeing the calendar, counting the days until after Labor Day. And I feel incredibly guilty about it. This is summer. And instead of lazy days, we find the whirlwind of chaos kicking up several notches. How did this happen? How do I get it to stop?

First off, we are in a whole new world when it comes to our schedules. One of the great things about living in California is that pre-schools are open year-round. That means that up until last year, the kids were in school through early August. And up until two years ago, either Jen and I were home full-time. (Jen here; me in Cambridge). That changed when we got back in the summer of 2007. That fall, Jen started grad school, and we had a whole new life of juggling duel full-time schedules. But we adjusted eventually.

But this is the first summer that Liam doesn't have school. He just finished his first year of Kindergarten at NOCCS. And so we have a patchwork of camps, playdate swapping, and schedule roulette. Jen and I are pulling our hair out, and working like mad. And again, I feel terribly guilty about all of this.

My summers, as a kid, were spent in total leisure. Of course, my mom stayed home full time until I was probably about 8 or 9 (when I became one of those strange new breeds called "Latch Key Kids!"). Still, I remember playing in baseball leagues, going to the local swimming pool every day, and playing tennis. I randomly connected with other kids in the neighborhood to play at each other's houses.

Of course, some of that will get easier when the kids are older and more independent. But right now, I fell bad that we can't just let them chill out, enjoy the weather, throw them into the car and head to the pool. Or, whatever. And the outlook is for more juggling through the rest of the summer. Sigh.

The good news is that tomorrow we get a break when we head to Berkeley Family Camp! We went last year, and had a great time. This time we're meeting some close friends who are already up there. Family Camp is a real throw back, where we eat every meal in a dining hall, there are kids' activities all day, and camp counselors who sing goofy songs during the meals. It's all very 1950s. Probably just what the doctor ordered about now. A few days off the grid. Someone else cooking every meal. And some good friends sharing it.

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