Saturday, June 6, 2009

The End Is Near - Summer Plans

No, I haven't been reading Nostradamus. That dude is waaaaay too depressing. And a total downer. And off the mark, I'm afraid.

The end of the school year is coming and I am ill-prepared to deal with a month of bored kids. Did I sign them up for camp? Nope. They aren't really campers. Definitely not overnight campers and don't have buddies to hang with at camp either. Their closest friends are kickin around town most of the summer. Good, in the sense of we can arrange play dates. Bad, in the sense of I haven't arranged any yet. No time like the present right?

I wish it were so easy. My summer is going to be consumed with work and after that, getting ready to get out of dodge. Sure I'll take them to the amusement park, the swimming pool and for drives in the country. But my schedule just isn't as flexible as it was last year. And they got bored last year. And, they had neighbor kids to play with last year. And, they weren't nearly as demanding as this year.

Remember in the "olden days", as Keller calls it (makes ME think of covered wagons, bonnets and Little House, somehow) when we just hung out all summer? Mornings were spent watching cartoons until mom kicked you out. If it was raining or she was busy, your morning TV might get extended to noon which meant you could watch The Price Is Right, King of Kensington, The Trouble With Tracy and Definition (cue theme from "Austin Powers"; side note - am I the ONLY person who figured out that MM "borrowed" the theme song from that wonderful show???) If you aren't Canadian you probably won't know those last three shows. Total TO shout out!!

Anyhoo, I like to think life then was much simpler. We would go to the pool a couple of times during the day, ride bikes, go to the store for a freezee (yes, back then we were allowed to ride somewhere on our own without total fear of being kidnapped) and wait for dinner. After that it was time to gather outside to play Red Rover, Capture the Flag or Nicki Nine Doors, and then wait for the street lights to come on. That was pretty much it.

I had always hung out with our neighbors and lifelong friends The Wilsons, and around the age of nine or so, I started to spend more time in their basement learning how to dance. Those were the heady days of the Jackson 5, and disco. We did the hustle, the bump, and the slide. My favorite songs were "Do The Locomotion", "Disco Inferno", "I Want You Back" and later "Nice Legs, Shame About Yer Face". OK, I didn't really understand the lyrics back then...

Maybe it's because my mom was way too overburdened or there was always a lack of funds, but only the few of us who had rich and sympathetic friends ever got to go to a cottage. Camp was OK, as long as it was on a scholarship. I did manage a couple of scholarships and I did go to a friend's cottage once, but my summers were mostly spent at Eringate pool and the baseball diamonds surrounding it. Someone in my family or The Wilsons always played ball and that meant scrounging up change to buy an orange pop and a box of popcorn. (I know; soooo Canadian.)

The company I work for puts out an intense camp directory. If there's a camp within a 200 mile radius of Charlotte, we know about it and chances are, they're advertising with us. I'm a little embarrassed to not have an answer to the "where are your kids going to camp this summer?" question. It's already been asked once by one colleague and I dread having to repeat "no where, really." Is it a southern thing? A Charlotte thing? An American thing? A generational thing? Do all kids go to camp????


If anyone has helpful suggestions with what I can do with my kids that's fun, doesn't cost much and doesn't take much time, please send them along. Please. My kids don't like the Jackson 5.

No comments: