Long, Hot Summer


What are we going to do this summer?!

School let’s out in a just a couple of weeks and I’m looking straight into the eyes of a long hot summer with not much on the calendar and five little kids with endless energy. Oh sure, we have a few family trips planned to visit grandma and grandpa and a camp out or two, but I’m talking about the day to day operations of this family zoo. Swim team is practically over before the sun rises, and then it’s just us and the heat until I throw up the white flag around 10pm when the sun finally sets. (Why do we have daylight savings again?)

Normally, I love a good long, hot summer to go on adventures and explore with the kids. No homework, no schedules! Normally, we’d be regulars at the pool, drive down to the coast and park our seats on the beach for a month. I’d brave the zoo with them and other fun spots with picnics lunches to boot.  But not this summer. Not only is this a summer with a new baby in tow, but now I’m outnumbered by my little ones big time. And the number of non-swimmers around here outnumber me three to one. (I hope to get Luke water safe soon.)

Never mind my strong aversion to squeezing into lycra this year. In fact, I’ve decided to embrace a “Richard Simmons” look when lounging poolside this season: short shorts and a very baggy tank top. 86 the afro. (If Richard can pull it off, so can I.)

But places like amusement parks and fairs sound like nightmares to me right now. My breathing gets shallow just thinking about talking them all to a crowded venue all by my onsie. So home bound it is!

We’ve constructed a summer reading program for Andy and Kate where they get to earn cold hard cash for reading chapter books. They are elated by the idea of getting their hands on some serious dough, and they both love to read, so that should be good for some nice late afternoon down time.

I’ve stocked up on art supplies for craft time. I think I’ve even got some plaster of paris in the garage. We’ll plant some seeds and watch them grow. Maybe even make sock puppets and put on a show or two.

Even with lots of crafts and structure, I have a feeling we will be spending the majority of our time out on the front lawn with a kiddie pool, lawn chairs, bikes, some bubbles and sidewalk chalk. (Paul hates sidewalk chalk, by the way. He thinks it’s a menace to driveways and patios everywhere, convinced it never washes off completely. But I think it will when we wash the van on the same driveway. And what kid doesn’t love a bucket of suds?)

One day at a time. That’s what I keep telling myself: One day at a time. It’s gonna be fine. It’s gonna be great. And my instinct tells me that this summer, these kids are going to grow faster than those seeds we plant, so I don’t want to miss a single minute. Lemonade stands, messy house and all.


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