Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer Life

Yesterday marked seven days in a row at the pool. Soak it up, I say! In November we'll be weeping for sun, water, picnics, and deck chairs.

The days are flying by. Underneath my summer bliss and contentment, there's a constant low-level thrum of panic over the fact that I can do nothing to make the days last longer or keep my kids this age forever. If only I could freeze time as a summer stay-at-home mom to almost-seven- and newly-nine-year-olds. Younger was precious too, in its own way; but every year I'm more aware that they are growing up and my lucky precious life as their all-day summer companion is limited.

an earlier summer

We have the fewest structured summer activities going on this year than we ever have before. Our mornings are usually unscheduled. We lounge for awhile, over coffee (me) and cartoons (them), then get all the chores and housework done so our afternoons are free for the girls' summer class (which only goes until mid-July, boo) or the pool---or the pool AFTER their summer class.

Sometime in there--often at five a.m.--I sneak in a workout. Yesterday I waited until afternoon and braved a trail run while my daughters were at the weekly child exchange I'm doing with a friend this summer. I hadn't run in weeks due to a particularly notorious runners' ailment, but it went just fine.

At the end of the afternoon, we tumble home in a pile of wet towels and empty water bottles, and I have to throw "appetizers" at them (Vivi especially)--read: a bowl of Goldfish crackers or dry Cheerios, STAT!--and let them turn on PBS Kids while I get dinner on the table because the 10 or 15 minutes that takes is just too long to wait. (I make a point to cook in advance on the days we're headed to the pool.)

Dinner is an EMERGENCY after hours at the pool, in case you didn't know--despite the fact that I keep the pool bag stocked with snacks. Baby fishes burn a lot of energy.

The activities we've been doing from our Summer Bucket List so far are not terribly original and certainly not complicated, but I promised on Facebook that I'd post some kid activity ideas, because I remember when my children were younger and my brain was foggier than it is now, and I'd see or hear about some simple way to keep my kiddos busy and I'd be all, Why haven't we been doing that?! and then the next day I'd be at a total loss, again, to fill their daylight hours.

So, just in case you need some prompting, here are some of the simple Summer List activities we've done so far (several of them multiple times!):
  • gone for a neighborhood evening walk (pj's optional--this is what makes it special to kids)
  • had a picnic at the pool
  • ran through the sprinkler with friends
  • baked treats with our E-Z Bake Oven (lame but kids love it--and they're old enough now to do it on their own!)
  • eaten Popsicles
  • gone for a hike
  • hunted for fairies
  • played tennis (read: goofed around with tennis racquets and balls) at the local courts
  • attended an outdoor concert
  • made a card for someone we love
  • had Family Movie Night
  • took a picnic to the park
  • had "Pajama Day" on a rainy day
You'll notice that these examples are all small, easy ideas. The larger summer-fun activities---camping out, going to the zoo or art museum, taking a family trip---all come later in the summer. We're only three weeks into summer vacation, after all! You gotta ease into it.

And we're off. It's another dreamy summer day. Time to get on with it.


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