Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Summer Vacation

Summer Vacation at my house begins tomorrow at 11:57 am. I anticipate it with dread.

Hell's Barrister arrived home from school yesterday, flung his empty backpack to the floor and did a victory dance in the foyer, crowing, "No homework!"

Ten minutes later he informed me that he was bored.

Tomorrow my quiet times will suddenly disappear, making it difficult to write. I am hoping that since the kids are a year older (and hopefully a year more mature) that it will not be as bad as some past summers have been.

So depending on how things go, posting over the summer may be lighter than it has been. So far I've managed to get something up every day, but working conditions being what they will be for the next three months, I may not be able to keep up the pace I've set, although I will try, for writing is what keeps me sane, and I will need every sanity saver I've got this summer!

I need to take my own advice and be more mindful about this whole thing, don't I? But when I think about the next three months stretching out before me, I don't feel mindful at all. Just sort of...resigned. And a little bit desperate...

*sigh*

Roll on September...

21 comments:

Clueless said...

How about looking at ten minutes at a time. :-)

Jazz said...

I'm thinking ten second intervals might be more relevant...sort of like pain management...

Mark Krusen said...

Ah the bane of every parent. Summer! Maybe that's why it rhymes with bummer. I'm justa saying!

Stephany said...

I used to make a list of things to do, and write them on pieces of paper (things/places to go, etc that *I* could live with if they chose it!)and then toss them all into a hat and one would pick a slip of paper out, and that would be the activity of the day, and also cut back on squabbles between the kids not agreeing on where to go, etc.

I always had a summer routine, where chores had to be done by noon, (meaning mom got to be busy until noon maybe?)then off to the library, swimming, fishing, you see where Im going with this?

I loved summers with my kids!!
(sorry!) LOL

PS I awarded you the Flower Smeller award! :)

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Jazz,
What was always so difficult about summer with my son was that he hated camp and every single one of his friends spent their entire summers in camp.

When I was child, there were so many kids in our neighborhood to play with that it wasn't difficult to keep us entertained.

But with my son, I was his chief source of entertainment--which was never easy!

Susan

Jazz said...

Stephany--
The list is something I actually set my son to doing--I told him to come up with some activities that he would like to do over the summer, and he's been working on that.

I agree that keeping a routine in the summer is a good idea...I have to have a routine or I go nuts...er...I mean more nuts!

Thank you for the flower smeller award!

Jazz said...

Susan--
I have similar problems with my kids in that all the other kids in the neighborhood are in day care or with relatives in the day. Also, my son isn't the most social creature in the world, and the kids who are in the neighborhood aren't people he's interested in being friends with. This would be fine if he was better at entertaining himself! But his main form of entertainment is video games, and I'm just not going to let him spend the summer glued to the television.

I've survived up until now, so I imagine this summer will be no different...what I mourn the most is my loss of alone-time. I really get used to having that during the school year, and it's always rather a shock when summer begins and I've suddenly got a house full all day every day!

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Jazz,
I know the feeling and I have only one son. What added to the difficulty was that for a number of years, I had a terrible depressive episode each August, so we had to send our son to computer camp (which at least he liked).

But it was so expensive that we couldn't take a family vacation (although I wasn't well enough at the time to take one anyway).

This is something I still feel great guilt about, and I'm not a person who feels guilt about much else because I believe I've always done the best I could--given the circumstances.

Alas...

Susan

Jazz said...

Susan--
If you believe you've done your best given the circumstances, then what's to feel guilty about? I know, I know, I need to listen to myself! When my son was in 4th and 5th grade and so miserable because he was bored, I was too doped up on bipolar meds to get on the school's case and fight for him...I still feel bad about that, too...but I know I wasn't capable of advocating for him at the time...I had about as much enthusiasm as a potted plant!

It's hard, isn't it, when we hold ourselves to such high expectations? That's one of the things I need to work on for myself...I think that's where mindfulness and journaling can come in handy.

Annie said...

I don't have any advice, my son is grown. But boy do I remember the long summers.I think you have legitimate feelings and you get to talk about what you dread even if you do have some ideas for the summer It is enough to have your routine changed.Take care! Annie

Jazz said...

Annie-
Yes, I think it's the change in routine that's hard, moreso than what the routine changes to...if that makes sense.

Coco said...

Hey Jazz, I hear you. That will be me in a few weeks. The part that's the hardest for me is the transition. Once I get used to them being around, and a routine is established, it gets a lot easier. I really hear you about the alone time though. It's so hard to adjust to the lack of it (and I, like you, am a person who really needs it). I don't get a lot of it, as I still have a 3 year old, but she's a quiet child by nature, and still naps occasionally! Best of luck with the adjustment period. How was Day 1? ~coco

Jazz said...

Coco--
Day 1 was short...they finished school at noon yesterday, so that was okay...today is our first full day. My daughter, who is nearly eleven, decided she wants to do morning writing with me, so we started the day with a writing prompt...writing with her should be fun. Yesterday afternoon went well, so I am cautiously optimistic...

Coco said...

Cautiously optimistic is good :) A writing prompt is a certain topic you write about? How neat that she wants to do morning writing with you. Sounds like something my daughter would be into too. She'll be 10 at the end of summer. Mind you knowing her it would turn into less of a writing session and more of 'question & answer period' lol :)

Jazz said...

Coco--
Yes, a writing prompt it just something to kind of get you started. Our first one was "write about falling". I wrote a little piece from the point of view of a leaf that fell from a tree in the fall, and my daughter wrote about a little girl who fell while rollerblading.

Coco said...

I like that idea, I'm going to try it with my kids this summer. Thanks for the inspiration :)

Jazz said...

No problem! If you need some ideas for writing prompts, shoot me an email, I've got a box full of index cards with prompts I've gathered over the years scribbled on them.

Heidelberg said...

My God, what I wouldn't give to have my daughter back at home fighting with my son, her brother. I miss the summers of doing things with the kids--movies, shopping, going to the mall, going for a ride... now I have nobody but me to entertain...and be entertained by, and frankly, I'm not all that entertaining.

It's hard to imagine until you've crossed that bridge that you will miss the chaos, the arguments...but there is laughter in that chaos, and the arguments contain hidden truths, fears that would otherwise never be expressed; opportunities to know the other, and to grow the relationships.

They grow up far too fast, although it seems they will never get there.

Why do we spend our lives wishing it all away?

Jazz said...

Hey, Heidelberg, thanks for dropping by! You're right, of course--part of that mindfulness I was talking about above is being content with your now and not thinking about how you wish it would be, or how much better it will be next month or next year. It's something I need to work on!

Heidelberg said...

Oh, we're all guilty of it. Who hasn't said to their kid, "Oh, will you just grow up?" Some of us have said the same to our beloved spouses. ;-)

I think we do and say these things more in times of stress than contentment, and we aren't actually verbalizing what we really want or need. What we want, nay need, is relief from the stress, but we project this need into situations and onto people that we have little to no control over. Still, it's so hard to be mindful of what we really need when entrenched in the heat of battle. Our needs always take a back seat to the needs of others, don't they?

Jazz said...

There's definitely something to that--that what we're looking for is actually relief from stress--I hadn't thought of it that way before, but I think you're right!

I think when you're mom-at-home and trying to take care of a family, and even more so when you're mom-at-work-and-home and trying to take care of a family, your needs always take a back seat. I know I should make more time for myself, and it's something else I'm working on. I always feel just a little bit guilty if I take a day off...but hubby doesn't seem to feel the least bit guilty if he takes a day off and sits on his a$$ all day! I need to foster that same attitude...the house can be falling apart around me, but damnit, I'm going to finish my cup of tea. In peace!