Mondays are for Millennial Mothers.
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This Week’s Topic: What I Did This Summer
It’s Back To School time and I’m taking a minute to review this summer (before I forget) to see what I did right, what I failed to do, and what I”d like to remember to do next year.
First the things I would definitely do again:
- SWIMMING LESSONS – We took the YMCA’s two-week, four-days-a-week swimming lessons twice this summer, with a two-week break in the middle and it worked out really well. Four weeks all in a row would have been too much (by day six of each session we were all getting a little wild-eyed and finding it hard to get there on time) but two sessions definitely made an impact on the boys’ swimming abilities, and it gave a structure to our day for four weeks out of the summer. We took the 10.10-10.40 AM class which meant that, by the time we were finished the outdoor pool was open. More often than not, we wandered over there. I packed a lunch most days and we hung out until about 2. We often met friends from school or the Y, which gave the boys someone to play with. (Hallelujah for the civilizing influence of pre-school, that allowed my Angus to actually get along with other children most of the time, instead of just stalking them).
- SUMMER CAMPS – Angus took three different summer camps this year, which wasn’t the cheapest option, but worked out really well. The first was the church’s Vacation Bible School, which was all of $20. We can walk there, too, so that was lovely. I might get roped into helping next year though, since G will be old enough to go, too. Still, it’s early enough in the summer that I shouldn’t be totally sick of kids by that point.
The Nature Center camp was, I think, good, and right up Angus’s alley. It was expensive but I think it was worth it. Plus it ran until 2 pm which seemed like a luxuriously long time to only have one (easy) chld at home.
The YMCA’s Wooden Shoe camp gave us all a little break from each other one week later in the summer. It has the virtue of being relatively inexpensive and involved two days at the pool during the week. Next year I’ll send them both in the middle of the summer and spend the time doing yoga and drinking purifying preparations. Ommmm.
- VACATIONS – we had a short get away at either end of the summer holiday and that was a very nice way of doing things. You don’t have to spend so long in one room with your family that you want to do them harm, but it doesn’t feel too short, either because you have (had) another trip too. I”d definitely consider doing that again.
- LIBRARY – Our library has a ton of stuff going on during the summer and I didn’t really take advantage of it. Next summer I should really pick a day of the week and make it Library day, because the boys missed out this year on earning and cashing in their Book Bucks, because we didn’t go every week. They have concerts and shows too, but A’s head tends to spin right round when he’s in a theater with All Those People plus noise, so we’ll see.
- CONCERTS AND BABYSITTERS – I took advantage of the nearby family which has three baby-sitting aged girls (and more on the way up) and went out a couple of times. I also took advantage of the visiting grandparents for the same thing. We went to a movie, a concert and out for dinner on the back deck of our friends’ house (their children are grown up, ours were at home!). I would definitely like to do this a few times next summer. Otherwise, it’s a bit all-about-the-kids
- HANG OUT WITH THE NEIGHBOURS – I”m hoping this doesn’t stop with the summer, but this summer we arranged to spend Wednesday mornings doing something at one of our houses each week. Just low-key stuff like dragging out a pool, or making ice-cream sundaes. One week everyone descended on one yard’s picnic table, with their craft supplies and we decorated t-shirts. I’m a bit shy and retiring (unless there’s a stage in the vicinity) so I appreciated having a set time when I knew I was invited…
THINGS I DID NOT DO
There are things that, looking back, I might have done differently, or want to remember for next year. So I’m writing them down here in the hope that I might do them next year.
- Have a pedicure on the last day of school — I meant to get to this all summer and of course I didn’t. I’m not a manicure kind of girl, but I do love my tootsies to be painted. I’ve had it done a few times and the paint lasts longer, and they buff and polish your feet so that the skin on your heels doesn’t scare people walking up stairs behind your sandaled feet…Plus it’s relaxing. Definitely booking this one next year.
- Volunteer to host a neighourhood thing earlier. I missed out on doing this because I got the last date available and it ended up being when we were away. I feel like that friend at parties who bums cigarettes and never, ever buys any.
- Remember to give Angus plenty of down time between activities (and I’m talking in week terms here). Like me, he likes to sit around at home and commune with his stuff. Don’t be tempted to over-schedule.
- Go To The Beach – We’ve never done the classic Philadelphia-area vacation “downa shore”. I think the boys are getting big enough to enjoy it. Wildwood is a fave with one family we know, but that’s because they’ve been going there for a hundred years. Other people I know seem to favour Maryland and the Outer Banks in NC. That last one appeals not least because it’s the land of Misty of Chincoteague, which I read as a kid, thinking it was fantasy; and also because one neighbour just got back and told me the water was clear like the Caribbean. Any recommendation that comes with the word ‘Caribbean’ is worth pausing over…
There’s a whole other category that I’m not even going to address: Things I Should Do But Know I Won’t, because who wants to set themselves up for that kind of disappointment. It includes things like setting up more playdates with school friends, getting all the Back To School stuff organised the week after school finishes…Add them to the folder with ‘shopping early for Christmas” and ‘ getting birthday cards out on time”. Good intentions that only serve to make me feel bad about myself. (I still try to get the cards there for nieces and nephews, but don’t beat myself up about the others).
There’s also a category of things that I don’t wish to repeat, but most of those were not things I planned and involved things like trees falling on my car, and ‘significant life events‘ as the psychologists call them. I’ll just hope for fewer and try to roll with what comes along!
So, how was YOUR summer?