Last Friday, my son’s OT asked him if he was having a fun summer. He answered yes. I knew what questions were coming next.
What have you been doing?
Have you gone anywhere?
Are you planning on any trips?
What else will you do this Summer?
As I heard this conversation play out, I was tempted to interrupt this exchange and set the record straight.
I didn’t. But I almost did!
The other waiting adults smiled uncomfortably when I looked at them. They heard it too and were secretly glad that their family adventures (or lack there of) weren’t being shared. I almost turned to them to report about the birthday party, new puppy, swimming lessons, day trips, and other events.
I didn’t…but I was so close!
Are we headed to Disneyland or “The Big Island” for a vacation? No. Are we planning an RV excursion to Yellowstone or The Grand Canyon? No.
The absence of these trips is not an oversight. At this point, my son does not like heat, sun, crowds, loud noises and truthfully…most unfamiliar locations for too long. Will it always be like this? I don’t think so, but at this point…it is hard to shell out a big chunk of change and then have a miserable child. This almost guarantees a miserable trip.
Are we doing anything? Yes. Is it memorable? I hope so.
I have to admit that after I overheard this conversation, I felt the need to remind my son of things that we have done and those activities still on the agenda! I must have secretly wondered if we were doing enough because I did look at the calendar and think about adding plans.
Maybe that empty weekend we should plan a hotel stay. Everyone knows my TBP is a sucker for a heavenly bed, swimming pool, and room service. We could camp out in Granny and Grampy’s backyard or spend a few more days at the beach.
Here’s the thing…I know what is coming. It is the “What was the best part of your summer” writing piece that will be assigned only days after starting the new year. I already dread the words that I picture written across his first paper of second grade.
I played Mine Craft all summer!!
It bothers me. It shouldn’t, but it does!
As a teacher, you read the summer narratives and you begin to judge. Maybe “judge” is too harsh of a word but, you form opinions…even if you don’t realize it. The assignment is supposed to provide you with a baseline of skills and it does, but there is a part of you that thinks, “What a great learning opportunity!” “Wow! He had lots of great family time!”
If I pack the remaining weeks with fun-filled activities, does that guarantee a different writing result? His current obsession is what he thinks about, reads about, writes about, and talks (and talks) about all the time. No doubt…This WILL be the topic of the summer writing.
Bottom line is this… When our family looks back on this summer, is it filled with family time? Were we able to do a few extraordinary things that the school year schedule (or weather) doesn’t allow?
There is a lot of pressure to squeeze a whole lot of joy into a couple of months. What about the joy you have for the rest of the year?! So here’s what I am thinking…we should pledge to have a great year instead of so much focus on July and August! Maybe spend one day each weekend doing something that we WANT to do instead of what we should do!
I like it! I think we will try it! I will tell you how it’s going throughout the year! 🙂