Well, summertime is buzzing along and the kids seem to be having a good time with all our extra free time. I especially like the "no real schedule" days where I can stay in my pajamas until 10:00 if I so desire and eat a late breakfast. No school, no meetings or practices, plays or work schedule; just time to spend time re-establishing relationships with neighbors, friends, visiting with my kids, talking with my husband and slowly...very slowly...preparing to embrace another new person, new life, new dynamic in the family.
Having a fairly large family comes with its sacrifices. I live in a very affluent town. Every summer, most of my neighbors enroll their kids in numerous summer camps, send them off for two weeks at time to overnight adventures in another state, or simply pay $900 or so a year to become members of the local pool. We, here at four crying out loud, do not have the resources ($$$) to send our children to such places or to become members of the local pool; we simply must make do with a strategically placed half-day, week long camp activity per child and rely on the generosity of our neighbor who allows us to use his pool at most any time. We also take advantage of the low-cost vacation bible camp held at the near-by church. Other than those two week long camp events and a week long trip to Texas to visit family..I am left to fill up about 8 weeks of summer with activities that rival the high dollar camps that are offered. Yikes! We here at Camp Clemens resort to all kind of activities that aim to please, but find it extremely necessary to stick to some semblance of a schedule for the kids....er..I mean for mom's sanity.
Below is the "loose" summer schedule that is posted on the Clemen's refrigerator.
8:00-9:30--Depending on what time the kids awake, all Clemens kids MUST get dressed, comb their hair, brush their teeth, eat breakfast, clear the breakfast dishes and clean their rooms. No other activity is allowed until these basic items have been completed. Wearing only underwear does NOT constitute "being dressed".
9:30-10:30--Free time to partake in any activity in the house. Keep hands and feet to yourselves...except for mom.
10:30-11:30--Summer homework: This includes, but is not limited to completing summer enrichment books, creating art projects, writing letters to grandparents, practicing an instrument, hiking outdoors, or learning "cool" fencing techniques.
11:30-1:30--Cooking/Baking/Lunch Time. This is also a great time for the kids to finish their daily chores which are posted on the fridge.
1:30-2:30--Quiet time. The kids can read their library books quietly in their rooms while mom either gets a few chores done, or makes some necessary phone calls. (like to the beauty shop to make a hair appointment!)
2:30---Free time to do whatever pleases as long as no bloodshed is involved. Sometimes we go over to the neighbors house to swim, the kids play video games, find friends to play with or on special occasions, we go to a movie matinee.
While I admit that sending my kids to the myriad of camp choices sounds appealing and fun; I know that I will treasure these precious summer moments with my children and one day want to re-live them...even the hardest of days.