Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lazy Summer Days?

Kids at play in 1927Image via Wikipedia

When I was young I used to look forward to the summer holidays with a type of gleeful anticipation. I was always busy during the school year - with dance classes, piano lessons, skating (for two very fun, very long winters), cheerleading, homework, dating, having friends, just generally having a life - that by the time June rolled around and summer was approaching I was more then ready for it. Now that I'm older, now that I've got kids of my own, summer doesn't hold quite the same appeal.

Now it's just another season, a couple of months out of the year that the temperatures soar and the kids are sprung from school or whatever other activities they usually do to occupy themselves. I still have to do all the same things I always do. I still have the same responsibilities, the same (or at the very least comparable) demands on my time. I don't get to spend all day at the pool or at my friends house. I can't lounge in the backyard and run through the sprinkler when ever I want.

Summer hits and I lose the 9 hours a week that I had during the afternoons when I didn't have to be just a mom and push my needs to the side. Schedules that have worked for ten months straight have to be completely reorganized and refitted. New activities need to be found to replace the old. Until this year, and I'm not entirely sure why it hasn't occured to me before, I'd never really realized that summer time is actually a really crappy time of year for most parents. If you work away from home, it means finding (and PAYING for) childcare for the X-number of hours a week that you don't usually need it. If you work at home it means having your kids constantly underfoot, never truly having the time you need to do whatever it is you do. For me, and mind you this is after only a week of 'summer holidays', it means giving up what little free time I did have and having to focus on the kids instead.

Looking back on my own childhood summers, and I do this with very fond rememberance, I certainly remember being told that my parents were too busy to do this or take me there, but I also recall that even at a very young age I had a great deal freedom and often spent a lot of time doing whatever I wanted to do, and doing it without a lot of supervision. I know that doesn't make my mom and dad bad parents but now, having kids of my own, I can't imagine leaving them up to their own devices and trusting that wouldn't do something to get in trouble. I don't think that means that I don't trust my children to be good or that I expect them to misbehave, I just honestly can't see myself doing that. Okay, scratch that - most of the time I would expect my kids to misbehave but they are still young, so I do know that they wouldn't be good all of the time. Still... even if I did trust them, and they wouldn't get in to trouble, I don't know if I would leave them to it.

Why am I even bothering with this line of thought? Well to be perfectly honest, mostly just because it's been bugging me. It's been on my mind. Of course, with the changes in schedules and everything else it is also interrupting the writing I've been doing and that bugs me because I'd been having so much trouble writing anything for so long, then finally it was like the fog in my mind was burned off - and now it's summer and there's this new obstacle. If I were a pessimistic person I'd nearly be tempted to say that fate seemed to be trying to tell me something. Fortunately I'm not an overly pessimistic person, most of the time, and I know that every road has its bumps. Mine are no different than any other writers. In anycase, I'm going to have to work with against the new schedule that my children's summer holidays have pushed on me, at least until I can convince it to work with me.

Wish me luck?
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