In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Friday, May 07, 2010

The Summertime To Do and Don't List

It's May.

Which means the school days are winding down for Christa.

Which means I've got to figure out what she's doing this summer.

It's always a challenge: The delicate balance between too much to do and not enough. The last thing I want is to have a bored nine-year-old dragging around behind me asking, "What can I do? What can I do?" all day, every day until I announce, "Time to shop for school supplies!"

But I also don't want to drag Christa out of bed every morning and run full-tilt through the supposedly lazy days of summer.

So I try to plan the perfect summer of just enough planned activities and just enough unplanned free time. Too be honest, I haven't gotten it right yet.

Should we do the library reading program? Christa loves to read, so that's an easy yes. Sure, I'll be making multiple trips to the library, but it's doable.

I've signed her up for a three-week writing class with one of her closest friends. After I convinced her it really was fun, not summer school, she was all about journals and blogs and writing her memoir. Of course, the first week of the class falls during the week of her dance recital, so I am going to be crazy-busy that week, what with dance practices and writing class. Oh, well. It will be worth it. And I will just keep telling myself that--and plan on eating out a lot that week.

That leaves the rest of the summer. And deciding between want tos and have tos and oh, well, let's not. I want Christa to have time to sleep in (wishful thinking) and to ride bikes and to read books and to build forts in the living room that stay up all day long. She wants to go to soccer camp and take karate and take art class and swim class--her list could go on for pages.

Thinking Out Loud: Summertime. Another chance to make wise choices about the dos and the don'ts. I don't want Christa's life to be a flurry of activities--so that her days whiz by her in fast-forward motion. Sure, I want her to experience a lot of things. But I also want her to experience rest. Relaxation. Days when she wakes up and asks, "What are we doing today?" and I answer, "Nothing." Those can be good days too.

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