“What’s next?” Jack asks as he wakes up in the morning ready to start the day. And I tell him school or music class or a trip to mom-mom’s house or whatever that day entails.
“What’s next”, he says as I lay him down for his nap. And I tell him about going to the park or playing with the water table or a play date with our neighbors.
Sometimes I worry that I’ve over scheduled us. That too much of our time is spent doing things and not enough is spent just playing. Sometimes I think I’ve put too much energy into keeping us entertained. And I wonder if all the planning, play dates and activities serve me more than they do him.
But very soon when Jack asks what’s next, I won’t have an answer, because I have planned nothing for this summer.
No activities, no story hour, no music class, no nothing. And a part of me feels bad when I hear of the activities that his friends will be enjoying this summer. And a part of me is envious of the free time my friends will have when they drop their kids off to day camp or gym class. And a part of my is anxious and excited that in a few short weeks our schedule will be mostly empty.
I’m excited about the freedom that not having any preplanned and paid for activities to do. I’m thrilled to not be racing to get to an activity on time and then home for lunch and nap.
But there is a part of my that is anxious about having to entertain a toddler on my own for an entire summer. A part of me that worries that by mid July we will have tired of the beach and the park and mommy will be out of ideas. A part of me that fears we will end up watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse endlessly while I stare at the clock wondering if it’s 5:00 somewhere, anywhere.
Afraid that I will spend days trying to keep my head above water or that I will drown in a sea of “mama come plays”.
And I’m starting to realize that there is a distinct difference between not having a schedule of events for the summer and not having a plan. And I desperately need a plan.
I don’t want these summer days to feel endless. I don’t want this time to feel like a chore. I want it to feel like the blessing that it is. I want to enjoy these fleeting days with my two and half year old.
And I don’t need a structured schedule to do that but I do need a plan. And I’m working on one.
What are your plans for the summer?