Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hot Fun in the Summertime

Now that school has come to a close for an unbelievable fifth year for Number One Son and an equally unfathomable second year for Sweet Pea, we are challenged to come up with 'things to do' to fill our summer vacation days.

First on the list was to empty the kids' backpacks. The end of the year brought home all kinds of relics and artifacts from the first days of school last fall. For SP we got to see the progress she made in her writing and spelling. And about forty different works of 'art' which were all rolled and folded and origami-ed together into one bale. We 'oooh'd and aaaah'd' for each one before secretly putting them in the special summer file in the garage.

Number One Son had a few old homework pages and map he made and that was about all. His accordion style folder limped it's way to end of the school year with it's bottom falling completely out on the last day.

They each had daily planners to write down assignments and notes. In the margins of the pages were little trivia questions and games to write in. N1S's planner had assignments written for each day and that was it. No extra nothing.

SP's planner had assignments, every trivia question answered, spelling lists, stars, hearts, animal drawings and anything else she could squeeze into any available white spot on the page.

So with the backpacks retired for three months, what do we do now? Well, one thing we are doing is saying 'No' to playing video games a lot more.

To combat the video games, Number One Son is going to basketball camp this week. It's nice that he is able to reconnect with some friends from school and have something aerobic to do for an hour and a half every morning. Later this summer, he will attend a golf camp and an acting camp for a week each. N1S doesn't have too many friends his age in the neighborhood so we enroll him in these short camps spread throughout the summer.
Here's a shot of his shooting form. It looks a bit awkward because it is impossible for me to get an action shot of someone shooting a basket. I tried a dozen times to take his picture but I could never get the ball in the shot.

So I settled for this shot of him drinking water. As you can see I got most of the bottle in the picture. The angle of the picture also makes him look like he's in high school.

Sweet Pea could fill her summer with a different neighborhood play date every three days without duplication, but if her brother has camps to attend, so will she. This week she attended her Girl Scout day camp from 8:30am to 4:00pm everyday. Each fun filled day ranged in temperature from 85 to 95 degrees with about 200% humidity. That's a long day for a seven year old. It's also a long day for a thirty-something year old. Lady Di volunteered to conduct a class each day which consisted of keeping the attention of three groups of 12 or so seven year olds for fifty minutes. If it were me, I would have conducted fifty minute water balloon fights until lunchtime and then teach the benefits of lying still on a mat for afternoon naps.

SP was part of the pink shirt group with red scarves in their hair. I don't think the scarf stayed in her hair long though.
SP also has a basketball camp coming up in July and then both kids participate in golf camp in August to round out the summer.
Some may think we over-schedule the kids but I don't think three one-week long camps takes up too much of their summer fun. We have a few trips planned to the beach and we will probably visit each set of grandparents at least once this summer. Plus, family fun can be enjoyed at home with outside picnic suppers, running through a sprinkler or taking family bike rides to the Dairy Queen. The trick is to fill in the gaps between camps with simple family moments wherever you happen to find yourself.

And right now I find myself lying very still on the couch with the kids in bed recharging for another day. This is my kind of summer camp.

1 comment:

James (SeattleDad) said...

Sounds like the Summer is full of fun plans already. Good luck coping with it from the parental perspective.

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I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.