What are your plans this summer?
I get asked almost daily. And my answer is always the same, “nothing, we have planned nothing”. Which is mostly true, other than a trip in early August and weekly swimming lessons we have no plans. No camps, no sports, no regularly scheduled programming.
In the spring when we were looking and camps and thinking about sports I went between excited at the idea of camp every day to a feeling of dread at the idea of having to be somewhere every day. Even if it was just for a week or two. With a toddler who still naps, I didn’t want to spend every day worrying about running my son to camp and getting my daughter down for a nap.
When I asked my son if he wanted to do anything this summer, he said no. And that was that. I wasn’t paying for activities that my son didn’t really want to do. So our plans became nothing. Which has me worried, how would we fill 10 weeks. How would we stop ourselves from drowning in a sea of “I’m bored”.
But nothing doesn’t look like sitting at home doing nothing, though some days we do that. And some weeks our calendars are more filled than I would have hoped. Nothing means that we can catch a morning play at the library or that we can go to the amusement park on a sunny afternoon. Nothing means being able to say yes to friends who want to meet at the beach or who just want to come over and play. Nothing means we can go to the playground or not; we can go swimming, watch a movie and then go swimming again. Nothing means that we can plan a last-minute road trip at the end of the summer because we aren’t obligated to anything, except having fun.
And it’s freeing to look at my calendar and know there aren’t any places we have to be. It’s freeing to not feel like we have to go somewhere because I paid for it. My calendar tends to fill up on its own, and I like the flexibility to decide what we want to do this summer rather than what we have to do.
Sure there are days when I think, “what am I going to do with these kids” but they aren’t often. My son usually wonders off and plays with his toys, even my one year-old plays pretty well on her own. We can get in the car and go on an adventure or play in the yard. Maybe they are bored sometimes, especially the 6 year-old but they are learning that they won’t always be entertained.
This summer doesn’t feel so exhausting. It doesn’t feel rushed or hectic. Even with two young kids at home I feel relaxed. And this summer actually feels like it is going too fast.
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