Notes on a Summer Vacation

Summer Vacation

Kicking off summer in style: cleaning Sid’s room. What can I say, I’m the fun parent.

School starts tomorrow for Sid (fifth grade!), and I can feel myself tear up just thinking about it–which is surprising, remembering how panicked I was back in June at the prospect of having a 10-year-old and a baby home all day for most of the summer.

Summer Vacation

Dino dig at the Portland Children’s Museum–a little young for Sid and Ernie, a little old for Sarah.

Determined to keep Sid (and me) from weeks of too much TV, I scoured the Internet for things to do and filled our “Summer Activities” calendar with so many good intentions. Library events! Dinosaur digs at the Portland Children’s Museums! Pool times! Perhaps we could take a tour of all of the fountains in downtown Portland (we did visit the one at Waterfront Park), or explore all of the different neighborhoods and parks (um, no)!

Summer Vacation

Solo trip for me and Sarah to the Portland Rose Garden.

Some things were great successes and became part of our regular schedule: Book Babies at the library (the other mothers and librarian are going to miss Sid so much), and our visits to our community garden plot (we’re now reaping mountains of tomatoes). But there has been a fair amount of TV and other screens (so many computer games), and definitely not enough reading–although Sid does like reading to Sarah. And playing with Sarah. And teaching Sarah to walk. Those kids love each other.

Summer Vacation

Sarah and Sid at the park.

Looking back, some notes:

  • Planning our days around Sarah’s naps limited our adventures more than I thought they would–I’m looking forward to being able to leave the house for more than two hours next summer.
  • Oh, it was soooo hot this summer. 100-plus degree weather made the idea of getting in the car and going somewhere very unpleasant. So we spent a lot of time in the basement–where the TV is.
  • I learned a lot more about video games (and Agricola) than I ever wanted to.
  • I learned a lot more about crappy kids’ TV shows that I never never want to see again. Lab Rats and Slugterra are the worrrrssssst.
  • Sid ended up doing four different week-long day camps spread out throughout the summer: one week of Grandparent Camp with my folks, a week of Timbers soccer camp, and two Trackers camps. This was a perfect mix–he got to hang out with other kids and have fun, Sarah and I still got plenty of time with him, and it wasn’t too expensive.
Summer Vacation

Sid and Ernie double rainbow! OH MY GODDD!

It was wonderful to have Sid home with us as much as he was–not only because he was a huge help with Sarah, but because he’s so funny and sweet and weird. His ability to make complex games out of almost anything–a swing set, for example–is astounding. We’re gonna miss him during the school day. We love you Sid!

Summer Vacation

Next summer: more reading!

But, I have lots of plans for next summer–it’s going to be a challenge, coming up with things to entertain an 11-year-old and a year-and-a-half old. I need to start another calendar . . .

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