They should stop calling this thing between school years summer vacation. They should call it “Summer intense non-school-related activity period” or something like that.
I swear, when I was a kid, my mom fed me breakfast and sent me into the woods for the day, armed with only my imagination and a hand-me-down BB gun. Some days I even had a few BBs for it. I spent half my time searching for Iroquois artifacts and the other half playing in the creek. I never found any tomahawk heads, but I got good and wet. I’d wander home when I needed the comfort of a peanut butter sandwich.
We don’t have time to play in the woods now. We had baseball games all day Saturday, and every night this week. Before that, Big Brother went to the TV studio to tape two episodes of a local PBS show where kids do science experiments. On top of that, he’s been to basketball camp every morning this week.
Things will calm down a bit when baseball ends in July. Then we only have Kids’ College and some other sporadic activities.
It’s a little stressful, getting everybody where they need to be, especially during a period called vacation. It’s no vacation for parents, but I sort of love it anyway. I love that my boys have so many opportunities to experience different things and practice the things they enjoy. I love watching them play sports, and even coaching them when I can. I’ll rest later, and maybe dream of stomping in the creek.
Big Man doesn’t have as many activities as his older brothers, so he’s spending his summer bantering with his babysitters. Our latest babysitter is around my age. They got on the subject of daddies yesterday.
BIG MAN: “Why don’t you live with your daddy?”
BABYSITTER: “Because he’s really very old.”
BIG MAN: “Well, my daddy is really very old, too. And I still live with him . . .”
I guess summer vacation is the time when Big Man takes a break from shutting down his parents’ flawed logic and starts shutting down babysitters.
I was thinking about that very same topic a few days ago. As of late, I started venturing to the local park in the evenings so as to step up my active/ outdoors game. To my surprise, there’s people EVERYWHERE. People playing tennis, people playing baseball, soccer, basketball, etc. And by people, I mean teens. Organized sports.
I, like you, spent my vacation on whatever I wanted to do (well, to a reasonable degree). While I think that all these camps nowadays help the kids keep active and maybe even sharpen their passions, I also think that some REAL time off/ vacation is needed. Life is so busy. Why make it busier than it needs to be when you don’t have to?
So much has changed. At 10, I had no video games and only 2 TV channels (3, if the cloud cover was just right). I did play baseball, but not nearly as seriously as they do now. Going outside to play was a top option. Too many kids today, mine among them, would lose themselves in screens if left to play as they like. I’ll gladly run them all over town to avoid that.
Our childhood could never match up with the kids today. I did what my neighbors and friends did. If my grandkids (my kids are no longer “of that age”) would do what you and I did…like play in the Creek…they would categorically be anti social. I’m not saying, “if their friends do it, so should they”, yet I’d say you were not a very considerate father if you were adamant about them growing up just like you did. You’re a great modern age dad by enabling what they enjoy OUTSIDE the electronic box.
I was antisocial from the fact that I lived miles away from friends and neighbor kids. And who would ever want to spend their summers playing with their siblings?
Oh for those days romping around outside, Scott. These kids these days are just so busy with schedules for this that and the other! I feel sorry for the parents. And the closing conversation between the baby sitter and Big Man had me howling. OMG. What comes out of kids’ mouths. Too funny!!! Sorry, but it is. LOL 😂
Amy, the unfortunate thing is I can only show you the tip of the iceberg of all the hilarious things these boys say. There’s too much to remember, let alone document. And yes, we do live in an age when children have more going on in their lives than their parents do.
Organized activities seem so, ummm, organized. A lot of the allure of playing with other kids in the 70’s was that it was very non-competitive and disorganized. We entertained ourselves, picking wild strawberries, drinking out of the garden hose, petting the steer one kid was raising for 4-H, racing our bicycles up the neighbor’s motorcycle ramp and pretending to be Evil Kenevil. We made up our own games and scenarios. Most of our toys ran on imagination, blocks or Tinkertoys or whatever that could be fashioned into hundreds of different things. My folks took us to the public library and we checked out our limit–10 books each. I realize this is all outdated, idyllic, and unrealistic in today’s world, but God, was it fun. If you shave your beard there Gramps, you’ll look ten years younger. Nice photo! 🙂 PS: When will Big Brother be premiering on PBS?
Much has changed, but I do still catch my boys inventing imaginative games. It’s not all screens, but it’s still too much screens for my liking. But I”m really very old, so it’s just a sign that I’m out of touch with the times. I would shave my beard, but my wife says she doesn’t want people to think she’s married to a teenager. I think Big Brother’s episodes will air in February, but I think the show only airs at our local PBS affiliate.
Sounds like the kiddos are having a blast and so is their dad.
Well, the kids are, anyway.