Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Thanks for the warm welcome! A few of you wanted to know what I've been up to.

I started out the summer with a simple goal: provide the kids with a fun, enriching warm weather experience while maintaining a semblance of sanity.

And by golly, I think this goal was mostly met. I had put together a wish list of sorts -- things I wanted to do with the kids so that I'd feel marginally successful as a stay-at-home parent. As opposed to, say, my winter and spring record, which was spotty at best.

I think I managed to strike a balance (Pow! Smash! There goes that balance, flattened like a pancake!) between having active fun and just chilling out. We had a variety of play dates, splashed in the ocean surf several times, went to a kiddie amusement park, attended a Phillies game (Sean's first, and Allie's "What do you mean I'm not old enough to go? Just wait till I tell my therapist about this when I'm all grown up"). We traversed a lot of heretofore unknown nature trails with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

We even braved the zoo with just one parent for my two children. Yes, my friend was there with her two kids, but hers actually stayed with her most of the time. Unlike mine. I wound up darting around like a madwoman trying to keep up with Sean and Allie, leading me to conclude that a Valium or two per trip would be a welcome benefit of zoo membership.

Trivia: Throughout the course of the summer Allie was bit by approximately 875 mosquitoes. Her brother, exposed to the exact same insect repellant and the exact same atmospheric/geographic conditions, was bit by 1. My daughter, the mosquito magnet.

We just returned from a family vacation to Rhode Island -- my mom, my sister and her family, and Jeff, the kids, and I shared a house in Narrangansett for about a week. Lots of fun, even with torrential downpours and 65-degree weather for several days.

As for the "chilling out" portion of balance, there were plenty of stretches of just going to the park or squirting each other with the hose or playing in the yard. I've decided, in a bit of post hoc analysis, that it wasn't laziness on my part, really. It was more like passing along a cherished childhood memory: the languid pleasure of merely hanging out in the summer.

By mid-August I had started looking at my watch (or where my watch would be if the battery hadn't died 2 years ago) and thinking "Okay! So when does school begin again?"

Next Monday, as it turns out. Enough with the fun in the sun! (says the person who whimpered her way through the chilly and dark winter. . .)