Friday, August 08, 2008

The Lazy Days of Summer? As if.

I was flipping through my calendar earlier today and realized that the first day of Autumn is on September 22nd.

When I was a child, I always associated fall with going back to school. That was the end of summer for me. Now, I have kids who go back to school in early August and get out of school in May. Summer for me was swimming in the backyard pool (it was above ground but we were STILL the fanciest pants in the neighborhood). We didn't go on vacation. We didn't go to camp.

At the front of my dayplanner is a week by week schedule of where my children are this summer. Because, honestly, if I didn't write it all down like this I would completely forget and show up at the wrong place to pick them up and I'm already in the running for Suckiest Mother of the Year and frankly, I'm not in the mood to improve my chances. My kids have places to go and people to see. They are in constant motion throughout the entire summer.

I think it sucks for them.

They don't know any better fortunately. But I think if they had the opportunity to play all day in their own backyard and have picnics on the grass and wake up because the sun was coming out and not because an alarm clock was going off? Well, they'd probably run with it and never look back.

Life is so different for them than it was for me. I used to feel sorry for myself because I wasn't one of those kids who got to do everything and participate in all this stuff, and now when I see Girl Child fall asleep at the dinner table because she's so exhausted from the day's activities I think, "What the hell is happening here?"

They love their camp. They love their friends. They are very used to their schedule. They don't know any other way.

I want everything to slow down. Just for a while. Just so they can be kids for a while longer.

Just so I can pack a picnic that we can eat in the backyard.

17 comments:

Morgan said...

((hugs))

Betsey Booms said...

I understand this entirely. sigh.

Kiki said...

I don't have children, but reading this post made me think of summer when I was a child. I did the same thing. I layed in our backyard and played with my animals. I didn't worry about where I needed to be or what I needed to do because I made my daily schedule. I know that when I do have children, life for them will be nothing like that. Hell, kids growing up now are lucky if they have a patch of grass to run around on.

Captain Steve said...

My nieces and nephews are the same way. Soccer camp, softball, camp, basketball camp, girl scout camp. I rode my bike all over town and did whatever I felt like at the time. It's got to kind of suck now.

Heather said...

Awww, I'm sorry! :(

Angie said...

Yep -- as we gathered up the last of the school supplies today -- I had some of the same thoughts.

I miss carefree days. I wish my kids had carefree days, too.

Sigh.

giants fan said...

I am with you. I think a lot of innocence is lost when you don't have that type of freedom.

heather of the EO said...

I hear you. My boys are still too small for camp and such, but I watch summer life around me, moving so fast. I'll probably be known as that evil mother who keeps her kids in the backyard all summer. But hopefully they'll thank me for it one day.
Okay, I'll let them go to camp too. I'm such a push-over...

prayingtodarwin said...

I was spending the morning feeling crappy because the only thing I managed to do for my son was put him in one week of day camp. I've decided to can the guilt. Thanks.

Birth Sister Doula Services said...

So do it. Spend this weekend doing absolutely NOTHING except what you want to do w/ them. Get up late, turn the sprinkler on, and have popsicles at 10a. Eat lunch in the yard. Spend the afternoon at the pool. BBQ for dinner and eat outside.

julie said...

Oh, yeah. I spent many a summer just playing. It was the best. My brother and I would run around the neighborhood like we owned it.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

I was a non-outdoors person. Still am. So my summers were spent reading, reading, and reading some more with my dad nagging, "Go outside and play! You look pale and sickly!"

And after two months, all that reading got boring and I wanted nothing more than to go back to school. That's why lazy summers are good!

Tara said...

I'm with you 100%

Jan said...

After working like a dog for the first 6 years of my son's life, I have worked part time the last 2 years with the last 2 summers off. My son spent the last 2 summers like I did as a child- in the backyard. He acts like I am trying to be mean when I ask if he wants to go to camp. He is exactly where he wants to be. But your kids seem like such great people, they love their camp and you are doing the best you can. Peace.

Kimberly said...

This world of ours is royally messed up. Remember that. It's the world and the way it's running, not you. You're a fabulous mum, wanting to give them all the best and all.

Stephanie said...

And I feel bad because my kids are home most days in the summer. You will always feel guilty about something, as long as they are "happy and healthy" right?

Emma in Canada said...

The grass is always greener on the other side.

I feel guilty because my kids had a lazy ass summer where we did almost nothing (well not really, weekends were spent doing the festivals...they don't call Edmonton Festival City for nothing). During the week we did very little, Liam went to the Green Shack (a city run thing at the park- playing games and whatnot) and Taylor slept til noon and hung out with her friends. Very similar to my childhood I guess.

But you know? Sometimes I wish I - and they- had done camps.