Earlier in the year, when I was looking ahead to this summer, I hoped to be able to strike a balance. Between enabling my four year-old daughter to simply play and be a kid and engaging in structured activities.
She spent about half the summer just hanging out, with no schedules or expectations. Not unlike the carefree summers I remember from my youth. I offered her many different activity options. And we did a lot of fun things together. Sometimes, she chose to just be home.
The other half was spent at various camp programs. Which she loved. And I enjoyed having much-needed time to complete various work projects. I did not like how camp mornings were just as hectic and rushed as school mornings, however. That got a big thumbs down.
Looking back, 2013 will go down as the Summer of Sickness for the Ross family. After going the entire school year without being sick, my child was ill four times this summer. And lost nearly four pounds from her tiny frame.
The first week after school was out, all three of us were sick and I developed pneumonia. And the final week of summer break we were all struck down by a nasty virus. At one point, my husband was running a fever over 104 and hallucinating.
Those are not the things I want to remember about this summer. And I hope when my daughter looks back on these past few months, what she will recall is how she…
- went ice skating for the first time
- got to touch and feed a dolphin
- enjoyed lots of classic summer fun with her BFF
- visited sick sea turtles
- earned an octopus certificate in swim class
- attended a tiger’s birthday party
- redecorated her room
- launched a fundraising campaign to save her favorite animal
In life, there are always good times and bad. But I want my daughter to be able to remember the summers of her childhood fondly. And I look forward to creating more memories next year…