Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The See-Saw of Summer

Do you remember playing on the see-saw during grade school recess? Did you and a friend ever try to "balance" it? You know where neither of you are touching the ground and you're balancing ever so lightly to stay there? It was hard to do but possible.

This happens every single summer. I look forward to getting the girls out of school and having freedom. But freedom from what? It isn't schedules because it seems that our summer schedule is tighter than our school year schedule. Why is that?

Right now I feel like I'm on the See-Saw of Summer and I'm having a really hard time getting it balanced.

I know. I know. I (or rather we as a family) do this to ourselves.

This week is truly the first full week of summer activities. If you were to look at my calendar it is jam-packed. Every Single Day. I just glanced at it and there are only 6 weekdays during the month of June that don't have anything extra scheduled. Fortunately, Lawman and I are on different work schedules so he is able to provide a taxi service for the day activities and I take over the taxi job at 5:00.

I know as a child I did not keep the same kind of schedule that my girls do. Is that bad that they're so busy? I also did not have the wealth of opportunities available to me that kids do today. Just within our own household these are our summer activities -- basketball, swim team, piano lessons, band lessons, plus a 15 year old who has a part-time job as well as baby-sitting commitments.

Are my children over-scheduled? Honestly, I think they're fine with it. They prefer to be busy vs. sitting at home with "nothing to do." It's me who is over-scheduled. ME.

I think it bothers me more because I grew up in a different time. Things moved at a slower pace. We busied ourselves with different activities than kids do today. I spent many hours down at the creek which ran behind our house. I read books and more books. I spent leisurely afternoons at the pool working on my tan. I spent days with my grandparents which consisted of playing Uno and Chinese Checkers. I turned hay bales in the hay field so Dad could pick them up with his hay hauling machine. I drove a wheat truck. I caught fireflies in old mayonnaise jars. (Notice that there are no activities listed from my childhood that required electronics or technology. That could be a post of it's own.)

So, my question to you is this. How do you handle summer? Is your schedule jam-packed or do you enjoy the lazy days of summer? How do you find a balance?


amanda said...

Oh, thoses were the days! Making mud pies, tanning by the pool, picnics on the beach, and dominoes or cards with the grandparents. I'm trying my best to start now with the girls... teaching them how fun it can be to do those things vs. the other "business." I'll let you know in a few years how that turns out!


Anonymous said...

I hear ya Nancy! I remember riding my bike to the pool every day, and staying all afternoon. Going home and eating supper, and then heading down to the softball and/or baseball diamonds to either play in a game, or watch the boys play. And if we didn't have ball games to play in or watch, all the neighborhood kids gathered to play kick the can until well after 10:00! I was also on swim team. I read books or watched a game show or hung out with friends when I wasn't at the pool. If I wanted to go somewhere in town, I rode my bike or walked.

The beginning of summer is always so challenging to find that right balance between activites and down time. And with all of the technology available to kids, they want to spend all of their down time at the computer or video game console! Unfortunately, there's way to much down time happening with two of my teenagers so far this summer. That will change next week when they both get to be at the high school at 6:15am for weightlifting - and then 7 on 7 football at 6:00pm. Squeeze in a part time job (hopefully) for one of them, and some lawn mowing and helping Grandpa for the other, and we may be getting a bit more balanced around here. Thank goodness!


Rechelle said...

I think your childhood sounds pretty busy too Nance. Just a different kind of busy. Not so official. But I know your girls and they certainly seem to be thriving and destined to be the go-getters that their mom is.