Summer Update – One Down…

… two to go.  Months, that is.  Seriously.  This is insane!  Have you looked at the calendar?  It is June 24th already!!!

Today we are officially one full month into our summer vacation.  And we have been doing lots of summery things… staying up too late to catch lightning bugs or looking for the super moon, grilling everything we get our hands on, enjoying the summer brews, spending our afternoons running through the sprinkler and swimming at the pool.  But, at the same time, we have also been adhering to quite a full schedule, which does not seem the least bit summery to me.

Kid A just left yesterday for four weeks in the Governor’s Honors Program.  She already traveled to the beach and New York City with friends for a week.  Kid B just returned from five days at goalkeeper camp, and she is in the final week of a three-week-long summer bridge program (so she can get her driver’s permit this Fall).  Oh, and she is signed up for another soccer camp at the high school during the evenings this week.  And remember that we drove to Alabama for that regional soccer tournament as well.  Kid C earned a promotion to dancing en pointe, so she hasn’t stopped her twice weekly classes.  And last week she attended a summer intensive dance program from 10AM – 4PM every single day.  That’s nuts, right?  How did this become our relaxed, summer schedule?

In the past, I would put my foot down and we didn’t do camps or activities or much of anything in the summertime.  We just watched movies, read books and hung out at the neighborhood pool.  Then we would spend a glorious week at the beach.  I soaked it up like the summer sun, because doing nothing can be quite fabulous.  And I truly believe it is therapeutic and necessary, especially because it seems as if we do all of the things during the regular school year.  But, as the kids have gotten older, things have changed and we don’t seem to get as much down time, even throughout the months of June, July, and August.  Sports and school and their social lives have all gotten so much more intense.  Out of necessity and albeit grudgingly, I have adjusted.

But the boys are a different story.  They are still young and I can get away with keeping their summer schedules blankety-blank, just as I like it.  While the older three are off practicing for college and soccering and dancing, the boys and I are doing a whole lot of summertime nada.  Kid D has been playing real and virtual ball (all of the kinds) outside and inside and Kid E learned/ is still learning how to swim on his own.  It has been really fun, even the “I’m bored!” parts.  But then they both got super complain-y all of a sudden.  It took me a while before I realized they might be sick.  In the summertime.  Who does that?

So then I had to add a doctor’s visit to the calendar, but fortunately the doctor figured out that both of them were being so whiny because they had sinus infections.  Or maybe allergies.  Whatever… please just fix them.  So the doctor sent us to the pharmacy to treat both possibilities simultaneously.

We had to wait for our order, so I made my way to the foot care section (I needed toe spacers for Kid C’s newly acquired foot pain obsession due to dancing atop her toes… that’s crazy difficult, y’all!), and the boys followed me there.  This year Kid E also learned/ is still learning how to read.  Conveniently, the feminine products share real estate in the foot care aisle (I was not aware that the vagina bone’s connected to the foot bone.  Mental note to discuss a more logical store organization with CVS.)  While I was determining which gel product would best keep my baby from getting bunions, I hear Kid E yelling to me from just a yard away.

“Mom, what are max pads?”

I completely and blatantly ignore him.

“Mom!  I mean, what are MAX-eye pads?  What are they, Mom, huh?  What are they for?  Max-EYE pads.”  He started getting louder.

“Nothing.  They are for nothing you need to know about, ” I whisper.  I’m so not in the mood for this.  I would so much rather be feet in the sand, face toward the sun right now.

Kid D is all of a sudden interested in this conversation too.  “No!  They are not max-eye pads, they are maxi pads!  See, it says ‘maxi pads,’ not ‘max-eye’ pads.  Mom, what are maxi pads?  Look at how big the package is!  What are they, Mom?  This box is huge!”

I hear all of the people in the pharmacy snickering as I navigate this minefield.  Thanks for the solidarity, sisters.  I guess I’m on my own.

“They are grown up lady woman things that you do not need to know about today.  Put them back on the shelf now and stop yelling, please.”

Kid E becomes incredulous.  “I just want to know what they are for!  Just tell me what the max-eye pads are for, Mom!  I just want to know!  Tell me!  Tell me, please!”  More blatant laughter from the traitors in the pharmacy.

Simpler summer times… no schedules, no camps and no boys asking questions about girls getting their periods

I quickly calculate that I have two choices here.  I can go for shock and awe, or I can distract.  And although I consider myself one of the hardcore members of the fan club for the former, I have not yet gotten my full summer recharge and I am not up for speeches and questions about tampons versus pads.  So, I opt for the lazy choice – the latter.  I chose a complete and utter cop-out.

“Hey, didn’t I see water guns at the front near the gum?  Why don’t you boys go pick out some squirters and we can play with them once you feel better.”

Fortunately, they run off without any more questions and I am spared continued awkwardness for the moment.

I do, however, plan to look into summer camps for these boys as soon as possible.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

Hotlanta

Ask almost anybody who lives here and they will tell you.  Atlanta is awesome.  It is great place to be single or to raise a family.  You can live on a farm or have an exciting city life.  You can go shopping for anything, cheer on all kinds of teams at sporting events, and indulge in every kind of music, arts and theatre.  There are great public schools.  There are great private schools.  There are beautiful mountains, lakes and parks for almost every type of recreation.  And even in cities with huge populations, there are neighborhoods that provide a very strong sense of community (Go Crocs!).

It may be sMARTA, but it is scary as hell to ride at night.

But ask those same people and they will also tell you.  There are two main things that suck about Atlanta… traffic and the summer heat.  Traffic is inevitable because, “If you build it, they will come.”  Word is out that this place is great.  So plan accordingly and allow extra time to get places.  If you want less traffic then go live in South Dakota.  Or take MARTA (Sheepdog does).  But the heat?  Good Lord.  Some days I don’t want to leave my air-conditioned house.  And when I do it is only to spend the day at the pool.  It’s a good thing I don’t have a real job.

It is only the beginning of June and it is already stupid hot here in Atlanta.  We have had temperatures in the high nineties, and even into the triple digits, for a week now.  I am used to cross-winds and ocean breezes, so I have had a really hard time adjusting to summer weather in the South.  Even after almost ten years of living in Atlanta, I still pack up the family every summer and we head out of Dodge to somewhere that has air that moves.

The worst was a few years ago when we had the standard Summer Sauna Experience, but in addition we had state-wide water restrictions.  There was no new rain for weeks.  Under penalty of death you couldn’t water your grass or plants, wash your car, or hook up a Slip-N-Slide.  Conveniently, just before news of the drought broke we had just done some landscaping and wished to water the new plants.  I had to take a test online (similar to the S.A.T.s) and apply for a permit and make a deal with the devil in order to give each new shrub three droppers-full of water between 5 and 5:15 a.m. on the third Thursday after each new moon.

So, even though it is crazy hot here in Atlanta already, there is so much to do, both inside and out.  There are no water restrictions, so the swimming pools are full.  The lawns and plants are green and people are firing up their grills and Green Eggs.  Summer is here in Hotlanta, so let’s all take a turn on the Slip-N-Slide.

Have a great day!