Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer Vacation

Ahhhh, summer vacation. That time of year when school teachers everywhere breathe a sigh of relief, students run out the schoolroom door toward sun and fun, and parents rejoice in not having to rouse children and pack lunches in the wee hours of weekday mornings.

The lazy days of summer.

Except that, at least for us parents, summer is a mixed bag. Along with the happiness and sunshine comes a niggling sense of panic at the thought of having to entertain our children all day – or find someone else to do so. During the carefree (ha!) days of summer, we enjoy extra time with our kids, but any sense of a “normal” schedule is dashed as we squeeze summer into already busy days. It may not be all rest and relaxation, but if you do it right, summer is still a groovy change of pace.

It’s been many years since my school days and the associated laid-back time of summer break. Still, every year as June rolls around, I look forward to the down time of summer, even though now, summer often seems a blur of activity. I’m a stay-at-home parent, but also a work-from-home parent. Daily life during the school year involves juggling class field trips and cooking dinner while scheduling meetings with clients and time for work. That process is confounded during the weeks of summer, as we work in trips to the pool and the river, time with visiting family, gardening, and summer sports.

I’m a morning person by nature and, now, by necessity and am usually up and at ‘em by 5:30, to squeeze in a bit of work, a morning run, a load of laundry, maybe a little reading, and – if I’m lucky – one quiet cup of coffee. Alone.

With the early brightness of almost-summer mornings, it’s easier to get up and go, and I find myself working both earlier in the mornings and later in the evenings, as the daylight lingers. That frees up time during the day for all that summer fun!

With a warm spring that is heating up toward the solstice, we’ve already snuck in plenty of summer activities. We’ve visited two of our favorite swimming holes along the river, taken a couple of trips to the pool, and savored afternoon popsicles and dinners al fresco. The summery scents of sunscreen and bug spray and smoke from the grill already permeate the air.

Still to come… the beach, golf and tennis lessons, time with friends, a vacation near the ocean, scrambling up our favorite local hiking trails, parades, s’mores cooked in the fire pit, catching fireflies, canoeing, mini golf, and visits from the cousins who live where the real heat is – California and Tennessee.

Ahhhhh, summer; who has time for lazy days when there’s so much to do!

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