Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

Back Yard II smallWhat happened to those easy, breezy days of summer? Remember waking up on a day in June knowing there were no schedules, no classes, no dress code? Days full of possibility and adventure. What happened to them? I’m sure some children still have them. Those lucky enough to have a stay at home parent, or a family with enough bucks to hire a nanny/sitter for the summer, or maybe to work from home.

For our household summer is complicated. With two people working, it means we have to co-ordinate summer camp.

What week is it? Which camp? What is the schedule? Who works when? Who is driving.? UGH!

And of course with today’s over heightened security, campers must be signed in and out, so even if the camp is on a bus route, an adult must take them to and from camp. Couldn’t the camps have a sign up sheet for parents who would like to carpool? We only have one child to worry about. I can’t imagine if there were two or more, and both boys and girls.

My daughter gets a summer childcare grant, so she has some flexibility, and can cater somewhat to my granddaughter’s talents and likes. If it had been me it would be what is the cheapest, that fits my work schedule, and we’d just deal with it. My kids were fortunate to be able to go to sleep away camp for a week. When my kids were little, there were no camps that fit my work schedule because I generally worked either late at night or wee hours of the morning.

We are using a net based calendar to try to coordinate our duties and who has the car when. I just found an old desk calendar to write things out in because – I remember it better if I write it out and, I don’t have to turn on my computer to see it. I’m sure things will get better as I become accustomed to my new job.

I feel like this summer of camp is a negative in some ways. Kids are still scheduled to death. They must be here at this time and there at that time. Different camps are better at scheduling free time, or having flexibility in programming. The other problem is lack of independence. Since there is little time to be alone, or alone with friends, making decisions by yourself, there is lack of learning how to entertain,  fend for and discipline yourself. And what about chores? This girl gets home so exhausted she needs a bath and bed – that’s good – but leads to over-tired cranky kid at the same time as hot, tired  Grandma. A recipe for explosive evenings.

My daughter would say there is less boredom, less unrestricted eating, more exercise and new experiences. I know she is right. Especially for an only child. Still, I wish……..

Perhaps this is just resentment. I had expected to be retired Grandma, playing with the Grands, gardening, swimming and camping. Well – it is what it is – time to get with the summer program and find pockets of peacefulness where I can.

By Ana Grarian

50+ hippy chick from NY - STATE - and yes, I'm sensitive about that.

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