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February 12, 2008

The Lazy Days of a not Overscheduled Summer

Summer I got another one of those e-mails yesterday.  You know the ones…They list the camp name, program, times, and dates that parents are signing their children up for this summer.  The e-mails started in early January and as much as I appreciate the efforts of my mommy friends to share information about camp to ensure that my daughter gets a spot in camp with her friends, I’ve passed on most summer opportunities. 

Programs offered by Audobon Nature Society, Imagination Stage, Silver Stars Gymnastics, The National Zoo, and our local parks and recreation department sure are tempting.  My 4 year old would love to learn and play along with her friends but I’m unwilling to commit to an overscheduled summer.

Is that wrong?  Why do I feel so guilty about our lack of plans for the summer?  So far summer includes 2 weeks of camp at my daughter’s school followed by swim lessons at our pool, and most likely a family

vacation to California to see the grandparents. Other than that, we plan to frequent local parks, play in our yard, walk to the ice cream store, enjoy the air conditioned library, and spend the afternoons swimming at the pool.

I realize camp is a necessity for working parents who can’t be at home with their kids. As a stay-at-home-mom, I’m perfectly willing give up a spot in camp for parents who truly need for their children to have planned activities while they work. I feel the need to seize the summer and enjoy it along with my children. After all, I could be back to work next summer. This time next year I might be the one trying to fit together pieces of the summer camp puzzle.

For now, I’m content with my decision for a carefree summer. I’m looking forward to waking up each morning and letting the day determine a majority of our activities. Perhaps when school ends and summer really starts, I’ll be wishing my daughter was in camp all day every week.

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