We Are Both Right

Best of: Summer Perks

What's your idea of summer fun with the kids? ©Joe Batluck/stock.xchng

Summer’s in the air, and suddenly everything seems a little bit calmer, and a lot more fun.

The kids are content playing in the sand box. You are happily flipping and flopping over to the hammock with a magazine. And the sun just keeps on shining.

Does it get any better than this? Even the sticky hands can wait until later because nothing much matters on these lazy summer days.

There are lots of perks to spending a summer with kids. Here are our top ten:

1. Finger painting outside.

2. Fewer clothes. Fewer battles.

3. Ice pops all day long.

4. Ice cream for dinner.

5. When it’s over 100 degrees, everyone is welcome in the kiddie pool!

6. Naps in the car on the way home from the beach.

7. No excuses needed if you just feel like running through the sprinkler.

8. A walk or bike ride every night after dinner.

9. Trading the shower for a hose.

10. Going to the library on super-hot days and spending an afternoon reading in the cool. Ahhh.

So while the kids are decorating the driveway (and each other) with chalk, and before it’s time for the next round of ice pops, go ahead and add your favorite summer perks to the list.

Summer Camp Mommy and Daddy (No Sewn-In Nametags Required)


We spend a lot of time in our backyard over the summer. But really, is that so bad? ©kevinrohr/stock.xchng

My two older kids are the perfect candidates for summer camp. Ages ten and eight, they are both athletic and social and love arts & crafts and campfires and s’mores and swimming and everything else that comes with riding a big bus to a spot in the woods where they spend a week or more with hundreds of their peers.

Too bad I’m not on board with it.

That’s not entirely true. I would love for my kids to go to camp, but honestly, a lot has to do with finances and a lot (A LOT) has to do with me missing them and being a crazy mother.

C. had the opportunity to go with the Boy Scouts for a week to a camp a few states away. It sounded like 10-year-old boy heaven: fishing, swimming, hiking, whittling (seriously), bunk beds and a host of other activities that you can only manage to do (get away with) when your mother isn’t within a 500 yard radius. My husband thought it was a great idea, me not so much.

Is it because I don’t want my son to be happy (as some may or may not have accused me of)? No, not at all. This is his first year of Boy Scouts (he just crossed over in March), he’s only been on one camping trip without us, he doesn’t always have the best track record when it comes to sleeping away from home and (most importantly I think) the boys aren’t allowed to call their parents. This isn’t just no cell phones policy, they can’t even jump on a pay phone for a quick check in. And I have a real problem with that. (But will save that rant for another time.)

Now obviously there are other options. Different sleepaway camps, day camps in our area — but like I said before, finances are definitely in play here. So instead, each child will get to choose one or two smaller camps — for my son it will most likely be a week-long daily baseball camp run by his Little League and a week-long, half-day cartooning camp at a local art studio and for my daughter it will also be a camp at the art studio and something else that she hasn’t decided yet.

The rest of the time off will resemble the summers of my own childhood — trips to the beach (and we are fortunate enough to live five minutes away from a free one so we are there quite often), picnics at the playground, a few spins at a local amusement park and on the hottest days, visiting places where the A/C is blasting — the library, the mall, the movies. Sometimes we will simply stay home and partake in reading, video game playing and bike riding. My husband starts his month-long vacation in July so there will definitely be a lot of family activities too with the five of us spending quality time together.

Celebrating the lazy days of summer — sleeping in, no set schedule, just letting go of everything.

Thank goodness they aren’t going to camp — I can’t wait!

Do your kids go to summer camp? Where? For how long?

After reading Suzanne’s post about the summer camp her kids go to, I may sign up for the program myself! Sorry kiddies!