Here we are, in the House of More (more commitments, more busy-ness, more work, more fun), and we suddenly find ourselves with nothing to do. This, I believe, is the phenomenon know as……Summer Break.
We have certainly mastered the art of managing busy-ness, it’s the art of relaxation that we have a problem with. Having become so accustomed to schedules and deadlines, we haven’t an inkling as to what down time looks like, and when we stumble across it, what to do with it….
With two teenagers in our household, we are well passed day camps and play dates (those were the days; the simple pleasure of meeting friends at the community pool and chasing down the ice cream man…..moments lost in time. ). Monday was the first day, of the first week, of Summer Break. It started out with a little structure; Amanda was off to the gym for 4 hours of practice (5 days a week) and Nick and I were off to the photographer’s studio for his Senior Portrait (Senior Portrait?!? I could have sworn it was only yesterday that he was making us handprint cards with his little hands dipped in finger paint!). When Amanda and I returned home after gym, all I heard about was how BORING our house is. How there is nothing to do. How we don’t have our own pool (poor babies). How we don’t even have a trampoline (I’m sorry, we cannot afford one more visit to the orthopedists office!). How boring life is……and this was day one. Happy Hour couldn’t get here fast enough!
Nick is the easy one (in this instance….typically he is far more complicated). He is an Honor Caddy at the Winsome Golf Course, so he spends 5-6 days a week caddying (this is his fifth summer as “a looper, you know, a caddy” ~ Caddyshack). It’s actually an awesome gig. He’s at the shack by 6:50am, signs in and hopes to get a bag. He usually gets out, and is home by 2pm, most of the time. This is only his second summer driving. Over the previous three years we would drive him to the golf course in the morning, with his bike in tow (one of his friends would always tell me, as I was unloading Nick’s bike from the trunk of our SUV, that Nick could ride his bike to the caddy shack, that I didn’t have to drive him every day. I did, actually, because that is one of the pleasures of being a mom. Sometimes I would bring him lunch too. Scandalous!). After his loop, he would ride his bike the four miles home, almost always stopping at this hamburger joint (where all the caddies hang out) for a hamburger, fries and a chocolate shake. The perfect summer; caddying, golfing, hockey and driving yourself, what else could a boy ask for?
Now the teenage daughter, on the other hand, is an entirely different story. Boys are easy (read: simple), they play baseball, the play basketball, they play golf and they play video games (with a gaggle of friends, or just one pal). Amanda is lucky she has gymnastics to occupy her time, but what is your average teenage girl supposed to do for the rest of the day (and don’t say read or help clean up around the house. I can hear the eyeballs rolling from here already)? Go to the pool (if it’s not raining, but it seems like it rains a lot), go out to lunch (from time to time), go to the mall (on occasion, but Dad’s not made of money), go to the movies (when there’s something good to see, and more importantly age appropriate) and hang out at each others houses. Hmmm, I suppose when I make the list, and see it in black and white, those are pretty darn good options! Summer shouldn’t be that boring after all.
When life gives you lemons (free time?), make lemonade (find something fun to do?); or else I’ll give you a dust cloth and a bottle of cleaning solution and then you can tell me all about how bored you are……..
I have entered a contest to host my own show on the OWN (Oprah Winfrey’s Network). Please visit my audition, view it and vote. If you like it, vote often and early…..that’s the Chicago way!
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