Monday, July 6, 2009

Summer of Freedom

Okay, so the 4th of July is over, which usually means to me that summer is half over. Yes, I know, technically it's only a 1/3 over, but after the 4th, summer seems to fly by. And with Jonathan starting full-time kindergarten on Aug. 27th (!), there's not that much time left to enjoy all the things we thought we'd enjoy.

First of all, the weather has been pure crap so far! One week of hot weather where we've been able to swim. Then it went back to cool-ish days and downright chilly nights, making the pool water colder, making it not even worth it to pull off the solar cover and go for a swim. It's finally looking like we'll be getting some warmer weather now, so we're counting on that!

And of course, there's vacations (upcoming) and long, long weekends at Grandma and Poppy's house (already did one, still more to come) and day trips and hikes and visits to the zoo and maybe even a baseball game or two. We still have lots of stuff planned for the summer!

But then what? Jonathan starts full-time school. Is that the end of our freedom, our autonomy? Whereas before, we were used to just picking ourselves up and heading anywhere we wanted at anytime. Cancun in February? No problem, just find a cheap flight! Long weekend in Pittsburgh for some shopping, some micro-brews and a visit to the Carnegie museums? Go for it. An overnight at Grandma's, just...because? Just pack an overnight bag and get in the car. Vacations anytime we want, and not when the rest of the world takes vacations? You betcha.

Eek. So now what? 5 days a week. Get up early, pack lunch, get him off to school, pick him up sometime in the afternoon, do it all over again the next day. Sure, we did it last year - for pre-k, but for one, it was only 3 days a week and 1/2 days at that, and he missed quite a few days because we had things to do and places to be! And it really didn't matter much. But kindergarten is mandated. And I believe the school's policy on kids missing days is "strongly discouraged." Meaning, you might get away with it once a year or so, but anything more than that could be troublesome. He may not be allowed to make work up or make up tests (in later years). And although I could certainly write a note saying "Jonathan was 'under the weather'", well, that's like, lying, right? And besides, once we have Matthew in school (the same school) and perhaps #3 in later years...well, they all can't be sick at once, now can they? :-)

Now, granted, being in private school has some advantages - long breaks for the religious holidays for one, and even for Thanksgiving they get a longer break than most. So I guess we'll have to take advantage of these when we can, and if something comes up we just can't say no to, he'll just have to miss a day or two. I'm of the mindset that family excursions and life experience is just as important, if not moreso, than classroom learning anyway, so we'll go with that.

In the meantime, we're going to milk the summer, or at least what's left of it and hope we can get a lot squeezed in over the next few weeks. School is looming - I have a feeling the stores are going to be putting all those picnic supplies on clearance and dragging out the crayons and pencils very shortly.

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