Thursday, July 19, 2012

Past Deadline: Working on the Beach

“What are you doing with the kids this summer?” I have been asked numerous times.

“I have no idea,” I usually respond.

As I write this, there are only two days of school left. The good news is that’s only two more bagged lunches to make!

The bad news is that’s about 69 days of hanging out with Mama, who works from home.

There will be swimming lessons, play dates and possibly some day camps, but a lot of our summer is unstructured.

The cool beans this year is that Mama has wheels! This means if an unexpected pocket of time opens up, I may be able to be spontaneous!

“To the beach!”

Because I work from home, sometimes I can adjust my schedule a bit and just pull some all nighters while we go to said beach. (Haha funny joke about the all nighters. Ahem.)

Kids are always at a new stage of development – they are cute that way with this “growing” thing. I’m never really sure what summer is going to hold for me, so I often approach it with trepidation. Somehow, though, the freedom of wheels is making it a bit less daunting.

Often my work is portable. I can edit on the patio. I can write at the beach.

This year, because the kids are a bit older, I am optimistic they will be quite helpful at home so I can get some work in during the day – because we won’t always be going to the beach.

But – you never know. For instance, on those days that were really super disgustingly hot recently, tempers flared and tiffs predominated and I thought to myself, “This is going to be the longest summer ever. Omigod.”

On one of those days, Girlchild brought home a flyer from a box in front of a home that is for sale on the way to school. “Here, Mom,” she said. “This place has a backyard that is big enough for a pool.”

Seems the wading pool only has so much charm.

There always comes a point in the summer when my last nerve gets frayed and exposed. I’m not there yet – which is darned good considering vacation hasn’t even started as I write this.

I am reminded, though, that a few years ago Groom-boy and I invented a magical place called “Lost Harbour Summer School and Military Camp.”

Lost Harbour is a faraway place where kids stay for many weeks and where the program consists of four hours of school each day followed by lots of marching and building walls out of heavy rocks. Probably they have to do laundry and dishes and tidying there, too.

The kids are on to us now, I think. You can only threaten to send them to a place like that without actually making it happen so many times before they figure it out. I definitely dropped the ball on the classic parenting advice to not make empty threats and to follow through on whatever you utter.

Besides, I never did get the Lost Harbour flyer designed to leave casually on the kitchen table.

Instead, I think I may have made a deal with our neighbour down the street to send the kids over to help him with some renos on the outside of his house. There is scraping and painting and digging and fun stuff like that. Har har.

Actually, I think I have finally come up with a concept that will work. I told the kids just the other day that during the summer, the more they help around the house, the more time Mom will have to take them to the beach.

Could be good! Thank you, wheels!

Published in The Perth Courier, June 28/12

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