What I did on my Summer Vacation

Today, my schedule went into a blender.  School is out.  God help me. 

I’m ducking the experience of the first full day out of school by going to a conference tomorrow, so John’s going to be home with the boys.  Most of the time they behave differently for him than they do for me.  With him, they’re not quite sure what to expect, so they’re usually on their best behavior.  For me, they know they can get away with a lot so they get noisy, pick fights, roll around, throw things, and generally destroy their room.  Hey, if you put two elephants in a 10-foot square enclosure, what do you think is going to happen?  (The key reason why we’re looking for a house.) 

What pains me is knowing that their summer vacation, the way I knew summer vacation, is actually about 2 weeks long, one week in June and another in August.  Life is so much different than it was when I was a kid.  We SO looked forward to summer vacation, and then once it was upon us, we sat around bored, looking for something to do.  But that was a good thing…unless you made the mistake of complaining to Mom, which usually got you sweeping duty or laundry to fold.  Most of the time we spent our summers outside, playing with friends (I was good at wiffle ball, darnit!) or discovering the world around us, which amounted to a block or two, as far as we were allowed to wander.  I tried for years to climb the mulberry tree on the other side of the street, at the edge of a vacant lot.  It’s how I learned that I suck at climbing trees.  But the lot served as our playground.  We wore ruts in the ground, going to the same old places over and over, playing games, making up stories.  Maybe that’s where my proclivity for writing was born, on summer vacation.

My kids will spend most of their summer vacation at Variety Camp.  I can’t say that’s a bad thing; they’ll do more at Variety than they would if I were home with them all summer.  They’ll play tennis or other outdoor games; go to the pool at least 3 times a week; take trips off-site; have barbecues and parties; sing songs; meet other kids, the majority of whom are disabled but that just gives the “typical” kids a better understanding of what it’s like to have challenges to overcome.  I’m SO looking forward to Alex being around kids with different abilities.  He’ll be forced to communicate with them on their level, and it’ll expand his speech.  (I adore his school classmates, but you can’t learn from someone who thinks just like you do.)  Ryan gets to learn from different perspectives.  Over the last two summers, they grew a lot.  If I was a stay-at-home mom, they’d probably spend the better part of their vacation in front of the TV, vegging out.  (We didn’t have TVs with cable in our rooms when we were kids, either, or else that might’ve been what I did too.  We had 1 TV in the house and we all had to agree on what we watched.  Except Sundays when Dad watched football.  Then you either learned to love it or you found something else to do.  More than once, Pete and I tried to convince Dad there wasn’t any football on that Sunday.  Strange that he never believed us.  On the other hand, was football better than endless Abbott and Costello movies?  You be the judge.) 

Next week, the boys have a full week in transition:  no school, no camp.  I’ll be working remote that week, and loving every minute of getting to sleep ’til—gasp!—6:00!  Woo hoo! 

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