The school year is coming to a close and every conversation I have had recently has started off with, "So where are your kids going to camp?" The norm on the Main Line is to send your kids to day camp for part of the summer, if not the whole summer. So, I've been confusing everyone when I answer that my kids aren't really going to camp this year. My 4 year old is doing one week while my 6 year old is finishing school, but after July 1st, we have zero weekday plans. Yes, that's right, I have an entire summer pretty much unplanned. And for the one person that actually said to me, "Oh, I'm sorry", I did that on purpose.
Its not that I'm opposed to camp. We've done lots of camps in past summers and it does provide a nice structure and a respite from having the kids home all the time. And if you're a working parent, camp is necessary to replace school and keep the kids occupied. But, as a stay-at-home mom I am really craving a break from structure. I don't want to have to be anywhere. I'd really like to just sleep in when we're tired, go for a walk when we feel like it, and take some spur of the moment day-trips when the weather is great. Camp is too much like school - we're rushing around every morning trying to get out the door and in the evening my kids are too exhausted to stay up much past dinner. No, I'd rather deal with the possible scenario of quarreling kids for the possibility of lazy morning breakfasts on the patio and staying up late to catch lightening bugs. Those are some fond memories of my childhood summers, without camp. And honestly, I'll assume the risk of my kids annoying me and each other if it means I don't have to pack lunches or unpack back-packs all summer.
So yes, I've gotten a few crazy looks when I reveal my plan for the summer. And I fully acknowledge that I may actually be a little crazy after a full summer with my kids at home, but I'll take my chances. Its just a summer and summers go by fast. I read a quote once, "The only thing more fleeting than summer is childhood". I'm keeping that quote close to my heart this summer as I soak up my children.