Mar. 23rd, 2011

lemon_says: (Default)
When I was a kid, we did the same thing every summer. Until my grandma died we spent a lot of it at my grandparents' farm, and the rest of the time we knocked on each other's doors in the morning and came home only to eat. We played outside until the fireflies came out, then scattered to our separate homes with plans of convening again in the woods the next day.

If I left my kids to do that, they would shrivel and die for lack of companionship. Seriously, I don't know what happened to playing with friends, but a casual, what-are-you-doing-right-now afternoon of play has nearly gone the way of the dodo. We don't have a lot of kids their age on our street, and a lot of their school friends have working parents, so informal hang-outs are hard to come by. We have a couple of friends nearby that I can text and say, "Meet us at the park" and there we are, but it's not that many. Poor kids.

Since that kind of informality is hard to find during the school year, you can imagine how desolate the summers can look.

Everybody goes to camp.

I don't even know if there were all these day camp options back when I was a kid, but I'm pretty sure there weren't. If there were, nobody I knew went to them. I had a couple of privileged friends who got to go to sleep-away camp, a tantalizing idea that I never could talk my parents into, owing to my mother's paranoia about us being in the woods with only teenagers to care for us.

Anya wanted to go to weapons camp at Cuong Nhu this year, but it is three hundred dollars, and once I recovered from the case of the vapors that that gave me, I said no. Hell, my sister can teach her to pound someone with a foam sword for free. We're trying to save some money for a project, so my poor underprivileged kids will have to go to cheap camps this year. I'd like a music one for Big Ez, and I'm looking at a science one for Monster. Can you believe that not only do you have to send the kids to camp if they want to see any friends all summer, you have to sign them up in March?

So I've got them booked for a week of VBS, and then I'm going to spread out maybe two each over the rest of the summer. Anya will likely want another tennis camp, or maybe I can find a good swim one for both kids. I am telling you, this is a massive pain in the ass. There are a gazillion options and you have to try to match up camps with friends if you want them to know anyone...it's worse than trying to find a good college, I swear.

I am wildly tempted to just host my own damn camp. I'll take a few of their buddies and we'll go blueberry picking and do some jam making and art projects and nature walks and anyone who doesn't know how to ride without training wheels will learn, and they'll subsist on (dye-free) goldfish crackers and peanut butter sandwiches and kool-aid for good measure. Who's in?

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July 2011

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