Remember when summer vacation from school seemed forever to get here and you had all these cool plans for things to do that never quite worked out the way you thought? I know I'm dating myself, but when I was a kid you left the house after breakfast and didn't return until lunch and then you were out again all afternoon until you could hear your mom calling you for dinner. Then came the negotiations for how long you could stay out after dinner.
There were no gymnastic camps or bead camps or Michael's camp or cheer leading camp. We had three above ground pools on our block in three contiguous backyards and we'd take turns "sharing" with our little brothers. The only "camp" we had was during elementary school when there was still enough money in the school budget to go have summer school (that was fun, not because we failed) where we would have twirling lessons, make lanyards out of plastic string (boondoggle) and clay pots in art. When we were a little older we had a town pool but the fee was expensive and we had to cross the railroad tracks and Sunrise Hwy. to get there and there wasn't any shade and they had way too many rules of things you couldn't do.
Our summer would go like this...One week we were inspired to play "Bonanza" or "Spin and Marty" or "Swamp Fox". We'd fight over who got to be which character and we'd use fence posts for horses, turn over the picnic table to make a house or a boat and exhaust our imaginations until we found the next best thing.
The town would black top the street and we'd break out our roller skates! Who's got a key? That would keep us busy for another week. Then we'd not want to waste all that beautiful smooth black top and someone would produce a piece of chalk or we'd break off a piece of slate from the flower beds and hopscotch would take up another week. Double dutch, or just plain jump rope and Duncan tops would appear. But eventually, we'd drag into the house and whine to mom "There's nothing to do!" My mom's enlightened reply, "Go outside and play!" It never changed!
I'm planning my daughter's summer vacation, yes, planning...There will be a week of gymnastics camp, the one with the trip to Fantasy Island amusement park (a must!), I'm also going to sign her up for a week of "Passion for Fashion" at the school's summer program. I hesitate to sign her up for Michael's Art Camp because I haven't seen the projects and if they don't meet Miss Priss's high standards - I'll never hear the end of it. The rest of the summer it's just her, me and her grandmother, especially the two afternoons I work (what will she do!) I can't say I'm looking forward to summer the way I used to but it will be interesting, I've got to say that and nothing like when I was ten.