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Thursday, August 18, 2011

What I Learned on my Kid's Summer Vacation

Well, it's over. The lazy hazy days of summer..... over.
No more Popsicles at 10am, no more sunscreen smell lingering throughout the house.
*sniff* *sigh*

I hate the start of the school year as much as my 13 year old son.  It's another layer of complexity that our already chaotic family doesn't need. It's another full time job as bus driver, lunch maker, timekeeper that I don't need or enjoy.

So, I thought I'd ponder a bit tonight over the summer and share with you the lessons I've learned this time around. Some aren't new lessons, they just catch me off guard again.

1. Nine year old girls don't founder on an excess of turkey sandwiches or ice cream.
2. Left with too much time alone, kids will migrate to bad choices like a moth to a flame. They need engagement with us. They may be too old for summer day camp but they still need organized activities and participation.
3. Left with too much time on their hands and a portable "bad choice device" like a free text app, they will spread their bad choices to friends and parents of friends.
4. No one died in our house from it not being officially cleaned in 3 months other than a wipe of the crud and a swipe of the Dyson.

5. If you list the chores on a chart in the kitchen and expect it to get done, eventually they will do it. (I still try not to act shocked when they do the chore and check it from the list)
6. Husbands also respond better to the chart than the nagging.
7. Parents need breaks. The farmers market, world's longest yard sale and a few wine nights with girlfriends may have saved my sanity.
8. Amusement Park vacations cost as much as a luxurious beach resorts and have NONE of the same restorative qualities.
9. Two meals a day seem to be just fine most of the time as long as there is ice cream.
10. When ice cream is on sale, buy 3 gallons.
11. It's not summer without a great read. Mine was The Help this year.
12. Riding on the back of a 4 wheeler being driven by your 13 year old son is heart warming and incredibly sad all at the same time.
13. When you shorten your work schedule, it forces you to get more focused and get more done in less time.

What did you learn this summer?  Post your comments!