The days of summer are supposed to be lazy, hazy and crazy. I’m not sure if our weather could be termed hazy, but with the brain-frying temperatures we have had it’s certainly crazy. And that’s my problem. We’ve had an abundance of crazy since school let out and just about zero lazy.
I don’t think my kids are over-booked. My son plays guitar and drums. My daughter does gymnastics for recreation and fun. So, our schedule is pretty low-key during the school year. This summer, the girl decided to add track so I’m feeling the pain that soccer moms and dads must feel year ‘round. Between track camp and driver’s education classes, I’m in my car from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. daily. Last week, the schedule ramped up with gymnastics camp in the afternoons.
Some sadistic demon with no thought for the environment must have been visiting me when I registered the kids for their activities. My daily trek last week took me from one end of to the other, dropping off and picking up from three of the five high schools serving the city’s students. I’m thinking of investing in driving gloves. My schedule is hardly the craziest around, though. I’ve only got two kids and neither of them does any competitive events.
I don’t remember my childhood summers being this busy. My mom had us enrolled in swimming lessons at crazy-o’clock in the morning, but that was it. I remember shivering in the dawn’s early light, waiting for her to pickup my sister and me; the doughnuts she brought with her almost made the early morning dips tolerable. Mostly what I remember, though, is playing at the pool, catching fireflies at night and going to see a movie when it got too hot out.
As annoying and time-consuming as my summer drive time is, I know I’d feel guilty if my kids weren’t enrolled in organized activities. Lessons, camps and classes are de rigueur for the child growing up in America’s suburbs and Naperville is nothing if not the quintessential suburb. I’d want my kids to have lots of interests no matter where we lived but I can’t help wondering if the pressure to keep them busy might be less compelling in a less high-profile suburb.
I keep our summer crazies to an acceptable level by only signing the kids up for the things they suggest. If I’m going to spend hours each day shuttling them around, it might as well be to things they look forward to doing, after all.
Luckily, the summer activities end mid-July. By then, I’ll probably have the flight schedule on autopilot. I’ll gladly give up the routine for those last lazy days, though, relaxing in the gazebo with a cool drink while the kids catch fireflies.
Is your summer crazy or lazy? Tell us in comments.