Thursday, July 22, 2010

Camp Week!

Last week was "Camp Week" in our family. I haven't been big on sending my kids to summer camps (I know - I'm a weird Naperville mom. Everybody in Naperville seems to send their kids to summer campS). But this year a few opportunities came up that seemed to fit my kids. Rather than spread them out and lock up multiple weeks of our summer, I chose to stack them all in one week. Can you say, "insanity"? It was worth all the driving though.

Here's a quick summary of our camp week:
LMH went to volleyball camp coached by the vball coaches from her future high school. Way cool for her! And great skill building. She had gone to vball camp last summer with the coaches from the other high school. It was good too. But this time seemed to ignite her interest even more. Maybe it was the fact that a handful of girls from her school were there. Maybe it was the fact that she could actually do the drills with some skill. And maybe it was the fact that she got some extra coaching at home from resident vball player - Dad. Probably it was all three. Who knows how far she'll get in playing volleyball. It's a competitive field in our fair city. We've heard of club players with lots of dedication (and skill?) not get on the high school team. For now, it's her sport and she loved the camp. Hurray!

Timid Daughter, get this, went to Christian Youth Theater camp. Yep, theater! Believe it or not, both her Dad and I think that she's the most likely of our three to be a performer. She's a natural ham, once she lets down her guard. So it was interesting to watch her progess over the course of the week. She loved the camp, but wasn't so big on their special dress themes. She worked hard every evening to practice the numbers she had learned. It was a tough camp - they had classes on singing, dancing and drama every day and then rehearsal for an hour and a half every afternoon. All that hard work showed once it came to the final performance on Friday. She did great! She sang, she danced and she spoke her line perfectly. Again, who knows if she'll ever go into drama or anything. But she got to try it out. And she tells me she was only a tiny bit nervous going on stage, if that means anything.

The Uber-Princess went to Safety Town to learn about, well, safety. I happen to find it very ironic that somebody ran into my car in the parking lot of Safety Town (and then fled - LMH was in the car waiting for me and witnessed it). Anyway, she learned a lot about safety. I had refused to put my older two in Safety Town when they were her age just out of principal. A friend had been adament that I should do it. I was stubborn and didn't. And after this week I don't regret that choice at all one bit (and no, it's not because of my car). U-P had lots of fun. But every day when she reported what she had done, her sisters chimed in with a "oh yeah, I did that in second grade (or first grade or...)". There were certainly some unique experiences she got - like being able to ride bikes in Safety Town and go inside an ambulance. But most of the material is being taught by the Safety Town folks in the public schools. And now U-P is sleeping with her bedroom door closed all the way, walking her bike across the street instead of riding and pointing out other safety concerns. As long as she doesn't get hyper about it, I'm fine.

As for me, I spent a bunch of Camp Week driving around town. But I did get some time for writing in between stops. And I did get myself signed up for an online writing course this Fall. That's as good as camp for me.

Will we try doing Camp Week next summer? Probably. I really, really enjoyed the evenings when we'd sit around the dinner table and everyone would report on what they had done and learned that day. I loved seeing my girls try something new or learn a new skill. That's a lot of what summer is about. But to me the other thing summer is about is just being free to play and ride bikes and go to the pool and BE. A. KID. So I don't see our family doing more than one camp in a summer.

How about your family? Anyone send their kids away for camp (I've always wondered what this would be like, both for parents and kid)? Anyone sign their kids up for multiple weeks of camp and can tell me the benefits of that ('cuz I'm open to understanding the thoughts behind it - I know there's got to be some good reasons for it)?

Friday, July 09, 2010

Summer is NOT Almost Over

There is something about the Fourth of July holiday that compels people (moms mostly) to start talking about how quickly the summer is going by. "It's just flying!" they'll say. And every year, but particularly this summer, I think the same thing. I stand there and listen to everyone talk about the fact that summer is nearly over on July 4th and think to myself, "Really??".

I haven't figured this one out yet, so maybe you (all two blog readers left after my long unexplained absence), can tell me. Why is this? Why do so many people think that with only one month of summer gone and nearly two months left, that summer is nearly over? If my math is right, there are around ninety days of summer (actually, I did a quick count and for my kids this year it is 89 days). And by July 4th, my children will have been out of school for exactly 38 days. That would make the summer 42% over. If you wanna round, you could say it's half over.

I'm a pessimist. I see the glass half empty all the time. But this one really gets me. By July 4th, we've just barely passed the summer solstice and our kids have fifty-one days left to hang around and go to the pool and catch lightening bugs and make smores. Folks, we've really got more time left than we've already had. Why do so many of you go around moaning that it's almost gone?!!! It is not almost gone. What have you been doing all this time that makes you feel like it's slipping through your fingers?

Ah! There it is. For our family, we've packed in a lot of summer fun by July 4th. So to look at all the time that is still left feels like it's not flying by at all. It must be that everyone else has a lot to still do and they don't feel like there's enough time to do it. That's it, right? Otherwise I'm still scratching my head over this one. Never has July 4th been near the end of the summer.

So there you have it. My opinion on summer's duration and July 4th. Yes, I'm still blogging (at least when something irks me enough). And I'm happy to say that I'm looking forward to all of the time we've got left this summer. We've got plenty planned and I hope to enjoy it.