When I was in about third grade I staged a rock concert with my neighbor Kelli on our retaining wall. She was Pat Benatar. I was Alice Cooper. Back then we thought Alice Cooper was actually a girl. I am reminded of our escapades every year around this time when I can't shake Alice Cooper's song School's Out for the Summer. If my ear worm paid royalties Alice Cooper would be an even richer man.
My sons are counting down the days to school's end (seven days as of the writing of this post). They both love school but are hankering for summer's lazy days. They are going into third and first grades so they are still at an age when school is more fun than painful. Both boys are eager learners and revel in curiosity and exploration. Spending the summer over scheduled in camps and sports leagues would make them (and me) crabby.
Don't get me started on over scheduled kids.
My sons go to one camp a month that meets for 3 hours a day for a week. The rest of the summer is spent just hanging out and going on adventures. You know, they play. It seems playing is a long lost childhood past time. The boys are nearing the age they won't want to hang with me all the time, so I am hyper aware of that as we spend our last summer in the throes of each other. Time is fleeting. Some of our favorite summer days are when we lounge around and eat breakfast and lunch in our pajamas. We draw, bake cookies, eat cookie dough, read, play cards. There's something magical about living in a space where clocks and bells and schedules are irrelevant.
For those days we actually get dressed and need a change of scenery, we simply consult the A-List. All year long we keep a list of summer adventures, the A-List. We write down ideas of things we want to do on our summer vacation - places to visit, day trips, recipes to try, craft projects, science experiments. We don't treat the List as a to-do list that requires everything to be checked off. The List is more of a guide, an idea generator, a hopper of activities to spark our interest. We don't get through everything over the summer, and come the end of July, we start prioritizing.
Here's a smattering of our Adventure List for this summer:
- Hike in Umstead Park
- Visit SciWorks in Winston-Salem
- Check out Old Salem
- Make a terrarium
- Explore the new art museum
- Play tennis
- Go to the driving range
- Take a boat tour in Wilmington
- Make garden stepping stones
- Sleepovers with friends
So you can see that we have a relatively easy going summer. No trips overseas (We went to Italy last summer...but had no itinerary!). No overnight camps. No heavy scheduling. We plan on doing a whole lot of whatever we feel like, even if that means staying in our pajamas til lunch.
So tell me, what's on your A-List?
Ilina chronicles life with her sons at Dirt & Noise. She writes about current events, food, general motherhood musings. Dirt & Noise is home of 5:00 Fridays, Ilina's weekly original cocktail recipe and the story that inspired it.