My kids are out of school at the end of this week which had me pacing the halls of my house yesterday , sick to my stomach. It’s not that I don’t want my kids around all day, everyday–not at all. I actually enjoy the carefree days of summer with them. But yesterday I was in a panic about our serious lack of finances and how I can’t afford to send anyone to camp this year, especially my middle schooler who still struggles with finding friends and who spends most weekend days home alone. “What are we going to do all summer?” I kept thinking”What are they going to do?” Drama camp costs $400, hockey camp over $200,the beach parking lot costs $25 at a pop, the movies for all of us runs over $50,the mall? Forget it.
My panic was just about at Ativan-level when I walked by the refrigerator and saw this, posted by my 10 year old daughter:
“Things to do over the Summer with Maddie(her friend)”
1) Jump in a freezing pool 5 times
2) Rollerblade up the Mineral Street hill.
3) Silly-String each other.
4) Dance in the rain in our bathing suits.
5) Plant a tree named Fred.
6) Design a new drink.
7) Put pink streaks in our hair.
8) Stay up all night at a sleepover.
9) Go in the pool at night.
10) HAVE A PARTY.
Not only did this list make me smile, it blanketed me with such nostalgic warmth that my panic melted away by reminding me that summer is not about camps and spending money we don’t have–it’s about dancing in the rain in our bathing suits and staying up all night long because we can! It’s about remembering what it’s like to be 10 years old when the world was safe and school was out and lemonade stands were at every corner. Thank you Maeve, for reminding me.