Tuesday, August 21, 2007

We Go Together

This was the summer my husband and I decided that we were not going to spend hundreds (thousands!) of dollars signing up our kids up for summer "camp" programs to keep them busy a few hours a day. Since I work at home, we reasoned, and we have a semi-large house, and since our boys are not little kids anymore in need of constant entertainment, and since we have a fenced backyard and more toys, games and sports equipment than Target, it would be a good thing, a very good thing, for the boys to learn to keep themselves occupied on their own wits.

Besides, I was determined not to sacrifice this precious gift of 10 weeks of unscheduled unhurried free time. I just didn't want to forsake the kids' and my own delicious right to sleep in, and I liked the idea of not resorting to a no-frills, shortened summer vacation at a relative's house because most of the disposable bucks will have been sucked up for "camp."

Besides, neither boy was clamoring to play supervised basketball for two weeks or rehearse for a goofy musical in a hot church basement or even shoot off hand-made rockets in a field behind the swanky private school where, for a few years previously, each had been enrolled in something speciously called Talent Explosions.

And so, we settled in for languorous weeks of....nothing. Well, I had work to do, but hours spent working when one hears one's children downstairs and in the yard, inevitably squabbling instead of daydreaming, quickly collapsed into two hours a day. Who wants to work when one can play with the kids? So nothing soon turned into daily trips to Grandpa's pool two miles down the road, afternoons of watching vapid videos on our air conditioned house, and mid-morning trips Dunkin Donuts. We were all happy.

For a while. We slept in. We played cards together. We all read exactly what we felt like reading, in the living room, together. We even played board games. Together. We took bike rides, all together. We went grocery shopping, school supply shopping, and shopping for new DVDS, board games and other entertainment we could do together. Can you see where this is heading?

Today, T-minus 16 days until school starts again, we have had enTirely Too much of the T words: too much Togetherness.

The boys want to scalp each other. And who knows what they want to do to me. I of course am the perfect mother - calm, full of fun ideas, unflappable. Neither mutiny nor humidity upset me.

And that bundle of unused camp cash, which we were going to use on a pull-the-stops family vacation next week? Gone, mostly - spent. On DVDs, miniature golf, matinees, bowling, bookstores, lattes, remote-controlled NASCAR vehicles, gel-cushioned bike seat covers, carnivals, IMAX, museums, and the military history boat tour of New York Harbor.

Yes, we're still going on that vacation. We will travel the highway all together in our SUV (but with headphones and DVDs for the boys!), stay in a mini-suite (separate bedroom for the boys!), and attend a family party (where there may even be a kids table). We might have enough left for a boat tour of Boston Harbor, too, when we do some sight-seeing with my sister and her fiance. All Together.

I love my boys.

But I also love that word that ends in -er, the one which signals the perfect balance between how much time a mother and her two kids should spend with one another: September.

1 comment:

Michelle O'Neil said...

Great post. I got distracted with the mention of donuts. I need donuts.

September, sweet September.