Just look up

Tags

, , , , , , ,

A solid piece of advice from a long time solid friend.

So after I wrote this post  about the shootings in El Paso and Dayton I shared it with this friend who told me ‘it infuriates me when people offer thoughts and prayers’ and I wanted to know more.  I was especially interested in this friends perspective because she has actually been in a mass shooting and praise God was not injured, but literally pulled a wounded woman to an ambulance. She literally has had blood on her hands.

So we had lunch a week ago Friday.   It had been AGES since I have seen this friend and I honestly the first time since the tragic event she was at.  She was at the concert event in Las Vegas where a man barricaded himself in a room in one of the mega hotels, shot out the window and started shooting into the crowds below.  She definitely has a perspective and a point of view I can’t imagine.  We discussed the night a little then some of the after effects and trauma she has worked through.  The funny thing is. we didn’t really get to the thoughts and prayers.  But from listening to her, I understand a little more her perspective after listening to it.

However I still stand behind the statement that Thoughts and Prayers are still important and a way to show there are people who care, just may not have the ability to provide anything more. It still depresses me that it is the first (and often the ONLY) thing we hear from the people who have the power to make change (politicians).

OK, also in the lunch, we talked about the circumstances that lead me to this post.  During that conversation she did agree with NewMoms’ assessment that I do indeed go to extremes pretty quick (I do know where that came from!) and work in absolutes. I don’t always see the ‘grey’ but rather see the Black or White on a situation.  The most important thing she said to me was ‘Look UP’.

So what exactly does that mean?  There are so many connotations for such a simple phrase.

The first one that comes immediately to mind is “LOOK UP FROM YOUR SCREENS!!!” I am sooooooo guilty of this.  I constantly look at my phone. I am a borderline addict. if my phone is within reaching distance I am constantly reaching for it.  I have sat on the couch next to newmom, both of us playing a game or reading something. So look up, there is a great big world out there and we can and have missed things because of that little box in our hands.

See the source image

The second that comes is much more spiritual.  We all struggle.  We all are under a great deal of stress, in whatever form it comes, financial, familial, employment, relational, emotional, there are many more I could list, but there is no one out there who is living the perfect life, no matter what their Instagram feed says.   Look up, there is a loving God who we rarely go to with our day to day troubles.  Sure there is the “please let me get through (fill in the scenario) and I’ll (fill in the thing you won’t end up doing)” but really even for the day to day grind, he is there.  No matter what your God may be (Allah, Jesus, Buddha, etc.) they are waiting to hear from you.  I saw this graphic and it fits this point EXACTLY.

Image may contain: text

The next thing that comes to mind is experiential in nature.  There is so much going on. there is no way we will ever be able to do it all or take it all in.  But we are missing out because we may be trying to do too much.  Or we are trapped trying to keep up with others lives.  Stop, take a deep breath, look up. See what is around you and appreciate the things we have, not the things our friends or neighbors have.  Stop comparing yourself to others, comparison is the enemy and destroyer of joy.

See the source image

 

I am making a conscious effort to ‘Look up’. In the ways I just described and more.  Admittedly I am doing alright in some areas and not as well in others, but life is a marathon, not a sprint.  Thank you Gina for meeting me for lunch (FINALLY!!) and for sharing your perspective.  One day we will talk about our differing opinions on thoughts and prayers.

 

Advertisements

The ‘perfect’ picture

Tags

, , ,

In this age of technological wonder just about everyone has a smartphone. And attached to that miraculous piece of tech is a camera.

There are a lot of negative issues as a result of this, but I would like to focus on the positive side. Never before have we had the opportunity to capture moments. To capture the joys and anguish that make up our lives. I have probably taken more pictures of the little guy in his first seven years than my parents took of me in my entire life. That’s not meant as an insult or to be detrimental in any way, it’s just the reality of the times.

We get lucky sometimes when it comes to taking pictures. There are some who just have ‘it’. They have a natural eye to capture moments better than the rest of us. But for those of us who weren’t blessed with that gift, we sometimes get that ‘perfect’ shot. One that just STANDS OUT. I have been fortunate enough to catch my fair share of those. The other thing to remember is photography is very perspective driven so my ‘perfect’ shot is lost on others and vice versa.

Over the weekend, we went to our church picnic and as things were winding down, the little guy was kicking a soccer ball with one of the girls who was there. I snapped a couple shots and fell in LOVE with this shot.

I just love the action that is going on and the action about to happen. The way the little guy is literally floating above the ground. The way the shirt is flowing with the movement. A perfect picture.

I hope you all have your perfect picture as well and will share it!

Please comment with your perfect picture! And don’t forget to follow the blog as well! Thanks for reading.

Another day, another mass shooting (and the stigmatism of offering thoughts and prayers)

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Saturday was a horrific day for the United States of America.   Some sociopath decided enough was enough (in his demented mindset) and went on a shooting spree in El Paso Texas.   As I was reading news updates and wondering if and when this senseless violence would stop I got the answer this morning when I turned on the news feed on my smartphone and saw another sociopath decided in the wee hours of the morning that shooting up a trendy bar and restaurant area in Dayton Ohio would be a good idea.

When the little guy came into our room this morning I asked him to come over and give me a hug, because I sure could use one.  He asked why and I said a bunch of people got hurt last night.  His response was a bit shocking but a true testament to the world we live in today. He said “I suppose they were all shot, right?”.  A true sign o’ the times if there ever was one ( Thanks Prince for the reference).

How do you explain to your child that this is the new normal in our society?  That at any moment of any day, someone who feels like violence is the only answer can shatter hundreds of lives in the matter of moments. Here is an exercise for you.  Stop reading this, get your phone out. Set a timer for one minute.  Start the timer and closer your eyes.  When the timer goes off, go to your preferred social media outlet of choice and count the first 20 different people on it.  Now imagine they are gone.

Forever.

Frightening, isn’t it?  This is the number of victims in Dayton and the reports were it was over in less than a minute.

The outrage is palatable. There is such a divide in the country that our founding father would be spinning in their graves. I am sure this is not the country they envisioned.

This graphic below is a sad truth.

days since last

 

So the little guy and I are in the bedroom, I am trying to not share too many details, only that there were people who were hurt and yes, they were shot.  So sitting on my lap, we held hands and prayed.  We prayed for those who lost their lives. We prayed for those who were injured. We prayed for the families impacted and for the first responders and doctors and all of those who gave blood.   And we will probably be ridiculed for that by some.

Ridiculing people for caring and showing that care in the only way they are able for a majority of us has become commonplace.  This is as sad a reflection on the same society that is trying to figure out the insanity of mass shootings.  Here is a perfect example of how Praying for another has become a punchline in todays society.

shooting flowchart

 

Another post read “Two Mass shootings in America. But of course thoughts and prayers will make a difference.”  You know what, they won’t. Not in the way that was implied in the post.  Education, more compassion for others, stricter gun laws(??), people actually giving a damn about someone other than themselves, realizing that it is not us v. them, that is what is going to make a difference in the way implied in the post.

As much as ridicule of “thoughts and prayers” has become commonplace (I heard a couple of people refer to it as ‘tots and pears'(ridiculous!)) I can see why.  Politicians have turned the phrase into a soundbite on the evening news.  And those impacted by gun violence want answers and potential solutions, not soundbites in the current news cycle.  Can you blame the grieving mother or father who hears from our elected officials “our thoughts and prayers are with you.”?We are just getting into full swing of a new election cycle and the media vultures will be looking for any soundbite they can get and these politicians will be tripping over each other to give it to a grieving public.

We finished getting up and getting dressed and like most Sundays, we made our way to church.   One of the featured verses that made up the sermon today came from 2 Timothy 4:3 which reads “for the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear (NIV version).  What a great verse for not only today but in the environment we are finding ourselves in. We are so divided and have drawn lines in the sand and will not listen to any other viewpoint than our own.  I too am guilty of this, I would like to think I an open minded, but I have found myself questioning even ridiculing other viewpoints myself.  Not quite the good disciple there, am I?  Todays sermon and the verse really resonated.

So how do we stop the ridicule of those who only want to express their love for those in pain?  I think understanding that Prayer is meant as a way to lift up the pain and suffering and give it to the lord, so that the families can heal as best they can from this senseless act.  Others will still continue to scoff and say that it does NOTHING. And you know what? They are entitled to that position.

How do we stop the senseless violence that seems to be a part of the national collective? That is a much bigger problem that is going to take a lot of discussions, a lot of compromises and a lot of healing.

How do I raise a child (with newmom) in a society where mass shootings are in the news a hell of a lot more than they ever should be (it should be never)? Teach him to be accepting of others and to be vigilant. He is in scouts, so ‘always be prepared’? Well if I had all the parenting answers, I would share them with everyone and be super rich, but I don’t so I am not.  I am just a dad trying his best with the resources I have been blessed with, the greatest being my faith and my beautiful wife.

 

 

Oh you of little Faith…

Tags

, , , , ,

I have a number of bad habits and flaws. One of the many bad habits I have is going to extremes. Automatically jumping to a conclusion that is the worst possible outcome. I admit it, its a problem. One that I am working on. I recently experienced one of these moments that involved our little guy.

A little bit of background on this story. He is in Second Grade this year. Last year when he was just a wee first grader, we had an issue with picture day. After carefully going through all of the options of packages available (parents can lament that this struggle is very real, the packages never seem to have everything you need and extras add up FAST) we filled out the form and wrote a check. We sent the little guy dressed up for pics and thought that was that. Until we found the envelope in his backpack a few days later! After a bit of panic we were able to order online. Crisis averted!

Well back to the present. The little guy is in full return to school mode which includes picture day. Newmom was mentioning that we need to look over the order form and figure out what we need to order. My response was ‘can we order online? If we give him en envelope he’s just going to f#@k it up and not turn it in and we’re going to be in the same situation as last year.’ Again I went straight to the worst case situation.

Newmom replied to my negativity brilliantly. ‘I hate how little faith you have in our son, it really bothers me.’ She was absolutely correct. I had zero confidence that he would do what was expected. ZERO, zilch, nada. Not exactly father of the year material here. We sat and had a conversation about this and she was right. She pointed out that I automatically go to an extreme, in this case no pictures.

I was reminded of the story of Peter when he got out of the boat and walked across the water to Jesus, and sank when he doubted (Matthew 14:31). I was Peter in this instance, ‘the one of little faith’. As it happens I was reading a daily devotional a few days later and the words ‘you of little faith’ were there in a different passage(remember, no coincidences, rather God’s Providence). So I did a short bit of investigation online and that phrase actually appears 5 separate times in the New testament. Many times to the disciples when they lost their faith as well.

This had me thinking about areas where I have either lost or had very little faith in my daily life. It was quite shocking actually! Many aspects of my day to day life I found I had little faith, in myself and others.

I decided to ask a few people about this observation and get their input. One of the people I spoke with was our Church’s senior pastor. I was over at his house detailing newmoms car (a post for another time). We discussed the word ‘faith’. What exactly is ‘faith’? Not an easy question to answer when you really start thinking about it. It can mean so many things to do many people. Perhaps a much better word is ‘trust’ explained my pastor.

Such a true statement. Did I really have zero faith in the little guy? No. Did I trust he would deliver the picture order envelope? No. Based on previous behavior and actions I did not. Do I have faith in him to do other things and in his behaviors? Absolutely.

So I ask you, think of areas of ‘faith’ and substitute ‘trust’. You will be astonished on how much your outlook and perspective on that same situation will change.

I am NOT saying that faith doesn’t exist or has a use in today’s world. Actually just the opposite. Because it works both ways. Take trust and replace it with faith. Now also understand it’s not a one for one swap “trust me” becomes”have faith in me”.

I am working on those bad habits and flaws I started this post with. One of them is trying to strengthen my ‘trust’ where I can, both in myself and others. Another is to try to stop thinking in absolutes, stop going to the extreme result.

I become a cliché’ (Dads, pay attention)

Tags

, , , , , , ,

there are so many dad stereotypes out there.  Perpetuated by popular culture, the dad in the sitcom is usually clueless, clumsy or the story point.  How many times have we seen the episode where the dad forgets an important date and the entire show/movie revolves around him finding the perfect gift and by the end of the show somehow comes through?  More than I would like to count.  Dads get a bad rap.

Except when they perpetuate the stereotype.   I myself have been guilty at least once (newmom insists it was more than once, but I am not really sure) of forgetting an important date, which if you know me, is out of character. I usually am pretty good about remembering birthdays and anniversaries.

Newmom’s birthday was this week and I was accused of the classic sitcom dad move of forgetting.  HOWEVER, as I was walking out the door in the morning, when newmom was still wrapped up in the covers I said “happy birthday baby, I love you.” I got a ‘mmm-hmmm’ along with a snuggle with the covers and I was off.  I called her in between meetings at work to wish her happy birthday again and see how her morning was going. She thinks I forgot and remembered during the morning. I promise I was not a sitcom dad this year!

Another stereotype we dads have to fight against is that we are TERRIBLE gifters.  What I mean is we pick poorly.  I think just about very guy who has ever given a gift has missed the mark on occasion.  This is where I am totally…

Image result for guilty guilty guilty memeImage result for guilty guilty guilty memeImage result for guilty guilty guilty meme

I have been on a real losing streak when it comes to giving gifts. Birthday, Anniversary, Christmas, I have just been missing the mark.  Newmom has told me “it’s because you just don’t care anymore, you don’t have to work at it anymore(giving good gifts)”. Now early in our courtship and marriage I rocked at giving gifts.  I used to pay attention to what she was looking at in stores, noticed trends in color palates that she liked, really paid attention.

I have become that cliché.  The bad gift giving husband.  And I am guilty of what I was accused of (to an extent). She was right, I wasn’t trying. This is where I implore all dads out there. DON’T BECOME THAT CLICHE’.  Take the time to watch what she picks up and looks at. Spend a second staring at her dresser and take note of what fragrances she wears (if that is her thing).  Check a tag or two and find out what size she wears.  The other advice I can give is surprise her. Gift cards to her favorite places is the easy way out. Make the effort to get her something that will show you made the effort (you may be rewarded for those efforts later!)

So this year I was not going to be that dad. I am happy to report that I was not.  She totally loved the gifts we (the little guy and I) got her. I hope I am getting that gifting mojo back that I had before. I know I will find it again. I hated to be told that I didn’t care and realizing that statement was partially right. 

 

Another Summer Break adventure to ‘The bridge to Nowhere’

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

In this previous post I discussed all the different things we did in our first year with the Cub Scouts. One of the things was going on a nature walk. I made a connection with one of the dads and we swapped numbers. During the summer break I got a text inviting me, newmom and the little guy to a hike with his family. I ran it by newmom and we accepted. We were going hiking!

The next morning we met up with our friends and we were off to ‘The Bridge to Nowhere’. Strangely enough, a friend of mine at work who is into hiking biking and cycling told me about this particular trail.  Back in the day there was a project to connect the san Gabriel valley to the  dessert through a road they were building. As a part of this new corridor, they built this beautiful bridge across a gorge. The bridge was completed but the overall project got cancelled for reasons I can’t recall ( I am sure I could go look it up, but it is not as important for this post).  So there is this bridge literally in the middle of nowhere, with no roads leading up to it or away from it. you can bungie jump off the bridge (now an item on my bucket list) after an approximate 5.5-6 mile hike (round trip is in between 11-11.5 miles according to the sites I looked at.

So it was funny that our friend picked this particular hike not long after I heard about it. You might say it was very coincidental, but I recently heard a great sermon where it was said ‘ it is not coincidence, but Gods providence’.  While we were texting back and forth on Friday night, my friend explained we wouldn’t be making the trek all the way to the bridge, the kids probably won’t make it that far, but out for a hour or so, play in the water for a while, then trek back.

Water? I think I forgot to mention the trail runs along a beautiful stream and you have to cross it at various points, so you will get wet.  This is the summer, it gets hot ESPECIALLY in the valley.  This was one of the reasons this particular trail was picked, so we could go across a stream to be refreshed while we get out in nature.

img_20190706_095256-1

The stream is running, so soothing…

 

We made sure we had all our gear, I had to run out and get hiking boots (and that was the night of the 2nd earthquake (see this post for more) and aqua socks for the water part. We went to bed ready for our first real hike. As I have said before, I will try anything once with the little guy, to see how he likes it, and to see how much I liked it as well.

Fortunately, our friends have an SUV spacious enough to take us all up there, it was a really comfortable ride and took a while to get up there, but it was early enough where traffic was not an issue at all.  When we arrived, one of the things we read about online was absolutely 100% true. Parking SUCKS.  Our friend dropped us off and then went back down the hill to find parking.  When he got back, we were off.

img_20190706_084942

Around the bend, nope, around the bend, down the hill and around a SECOND bend.

We all really had a GREAT time.  It turns out I really like hiking!! The path was not too difficult, but did offer challenges.  Crossing the streams was FUN. The water was cold, but not too the point where it was too uncomfortable to pass.

We got to a point where we knew it was going to be our turnaround and stopped for a while there. We played around in the water, saw a cute little grey toad, and boys were just in heaven!! Our friend and I took our cub scout sons a little further just to see what was up ahead. It was really great.

 

img_20190706_100803

There is a Toad in the picture, I promise!

 

 

The trek back was a bit easier, as we knew what to expect. even crossing the stream wasn’t too bad (the second time).  When we got back we were lucky enough to run into someone headed down the hill that gave our friend a ride to his car (turns out he was more than a mile down the hill!). We pack up, stopped for lunch then drove home (quite a difference in traffic!!).

 

So as I said I really enjoyed the morning.  There was ZERO cell coverage, so no one was on their phones (except to snap pictures) or asking if they can use our phone.  It was great being outdoors. There was always the sound of rushing water from the stream, so it was very soothing.  It was physically challenging, there were a couple points where the path had some elevation changes that required some exertion.

 

I would totally do not only this hike again (and this time I would like to see the Bridge!) and many, many more.  A very big THANK YOU to our friends who thought of us and got us out of the house, off our screens and into nature.  We look forward to additional adventures with them in the future.

img_20190706_104145

Golf, a family tradition (AKA how I spent my summer vacation)

Tags

, , , , , , ,

“Golf is a game whose aim is to hit a very small ball into an ever smaller hole, with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose”

-Sir Winston Churchill.

I love Sir Winston. I have read a few of his books and been to his birthplace in England with my Mom and Dad when I lived overseas. There really is no better description of the game of golf.

Much like the esteemed Mr. Churchill, golf also keeps a special place in my heart as well. Both my parents played and many of my aunts and uncles played on both sides of the family. I had a brother who was actually quite good at it, lettered on the varsity team in high school, probably could have tried for a scholarship somewhere, but got burnt out on the game an walked away.

When I was young, my parents joined a private course and we spent many a day at Highlands country club over the years the family were members. If we weren’t playing we were at the pool, swimming the day away while our parents were playing out on the course.

I also walked away from the game for quite some time. I did not understand the game and was always playing to ‘win’. I didn’t understand the only person that was hurting was myself. I could not accept that there were people who were much better at it than I was and one day threw the clubs down and didn’t play again for over ten years (ego and pride can be real a-holes). I picked the game up again when my cousin sold me an old set of clubs he had because he was getting a new set. This same cousin and I have played on two separate continents together and in four separate states.

So why am I talking so much about the game and what does it have to do with Summer vacation? Well, newmom’s dad enrolled our little guy in not one but two weeks of Golf camp over his summer break.

AND HE LOVED IT!

I cannot express the amount of joy this brings me. I am hopeful I can start taking him to the driving range regularly to hit balls and eventually take him out on the course. This is something I really missed with my dad growing up but got to experience together with him after I picked the game up again as an adult. I have some very fond memories of playing with him. One of my fondest memories is playing with him and his brother on the storied Bay Hill Club in Florida (Arnold Palmers house!). I am still to this day very close with my Uncle Bob and look forward to the day I will play with him again.

But I digress. Golf also brings a bit of bitterness as well, as I kid, my dad played every weekend and some nights during the week, and it felt like he would be running away (hell, he was running away) from us. But he did want all of the boys to play, got us clubs, lessons, took us out, made a point to include us (to an extent). So I guess golf giveth and taketh away.
Later, in retirement he was really consumed with playing and making sure we played with him when we would visit. He was really in his element when he was with his friends on the course. I truly believe it was when he was happiest. He would eventually become the men’s association president at his home club and would still be today if he hadn’t gotten sick.

Golf will always be a part of my life and I am so excited to see if it will be a part of the little guys as well. I dream that one day he will look back with fondness of playing a round with his dad.

And now, Second Grade!!

Tags

, , , , , ,

Ever since the day newmom and I announced we were going to be parents, there has been advice.  My favorite was from an old friend who I don’t see very often anymore who has two grown sons of his own: “my advice to you is to not listen to anyone’s advice. Everyone’s experience is unique.”  Truer words have never been spoken!

Now, the advice that I have heard the most, and I have often restated myself (to others and in these posts) is this:  ‘Enjoy every moment, because they go by so fast and you will never get them back’.  This is a universal truth.  Newmom made a great observation to me some time ago when she said “how come days feel like they drag on for an eternity, but you blink and a month has gone by?”

This leads to the main subject of this post. Well it seems we blinked again, because our little guy is now a SECOND GRADER!!!  Yup. School has started again. The Little man is entering a brave new world with a new set of classmates (some old friends, some new) new routines and a brand new teacher.

I just wrote about the life of a year round school family. Our summer was full of adventures and activities (I will write about those SOON, I promise), but before we knew it, we were anxiously awaiting our welcome e-mails and supply lists for second grade.  And sure enough, they came.  Of course as soon as the classroom assignments were published the texts and calls to friends were sent “Who’s class is your son or daughter in?”, “Oh! We’re in that class too!”, “Oh no! We are in this class instead.”. Shopping was done for school supplies and some nice new shirts and we were ready.

The evenings leading up to first day we attempted to adjust to a more rigid set bedtime.  A little earlier every night until we got to the sweet spot. Although he’s a kid, getting him to bed ANYTIME can be challenging!

I have been there for his first day of Kindergarten, First grade and now Second Grade. I do not plan on missing a single year (if possible).  Alarms that have been silent over the past 40 days went off (too early!) lunch was packed, new clothes put on and supplies put in the Backpack.  We were OFF!!

We bought a chalk board with the “First day of (Fill in the year)” a couple years ago and updated it for the obligatory first day photos.  First day photos are something new to me. When I was going to school I don’t remember anything like that. Definitely something more recent (but it has been a WHILE since I was in school!!) and I think everyone’s social media feeds are flooded with them every fall. It is amazing to see how much they change from year to year and I feel very lucky that we will have this great visual record!

img_20190717_074532

 

After a few pics we took a short walk to the playground for line up.  We found our designated line and net some of the other parents. Newmom takes the little guy to school quite often so she knew a lot of the parents from previous classes. We then got the opportunity to meet his new teacher, Mrs. Marchese.  Now I grew up with a Marchese family down the street so I had to has, but it turns out there is no relation and she actually pronounces it differently (MAR-Cay-Zee) than the family down the road did (Mar-Cheese-ee).

 

After the teacher introduced herself to each student and family, it was time for the kids to go in.  I will never get used to watching him walk away.  I do have to admit, I can be a big softy sometimes, and will admit that there were a few tears in years past, but this was the first year that I was not completely choked up.

img_20190717_074748img_20190717_074605

img_20190717_075047

Showin’ some ‘tude!!

First day will always be a special day and I hope to be able to write about them for the years to come.  As I mentioned before, we have the first day pics, here are a couple from the previous years…

First Grade!!!

Kindergarten!!!

Dads, remember the advice, not the first bit (still VERY TRUE) but it goes so fast. As our list of firsts gets shorter and shorter, there are only a limited number of first days of school, try not to miss them. I am so thankful I have been there for all of them so far. And if I do have tears on future first days, I won’t be afraid to admit it!

‘It’s over already, seriously?’ The life of year round school kids.

Tags

, , , , , ,

Oh the Joys of summer vacation.  I have fond memories of playing with friends all day long. Riding bikes until dark. Trips to the pool.  Camps (vacation bible school, Vinton County Camp) and a good 2+ months off from school.

The community we live in has a school that participates in a year round schedule.  The kids go to school the same number of days, their breaks are just not in alignment with the other schools that observe a more traditional schedule, with a longer summer break.  new mom and I are often asked how we like it.  I have to say I don’t know, we really haven’t known anything else, the little guy has attended this school since his first day of Kindergarten.

This year was a little longer. The summer break was 40 days. he finished on June 7 and started again this past week on July 17 (a post on this will come soon!).  We got an extra week this year, last year I think it was closer to 35 days. So it seems like it is over just as it is getting started, and to be honest, that feeling is not far from reality.

So here are some pros and cons to a year round schedule:

CON: SUPER SHORT SUMMER. I was telling my Aunt in Florida that the little guy was getting ready to start school again and she said ‘Oh that’s crap! Kids should have a summer’. There are many people I have spoken to that feel the same way.  A traditional schedule and he wouldn’t be going back until late August, almost a full month out from now.

PRO: Less ‘Summer break brain’. Having a shorter break means that there is less ‘summer break brain’ loss.  Forgetting some of the basics, We all experienced it when we had longer breaks. I will never forget going back one year and forgetting how to start a new paragraph (indent you moron!) so I just set the next line completely blank and started the next paragraph on the next line.  So there is shorter time for those skills to atrophy and not as long to get back in the saddle.

CON: Missing out when your friends and cousins aren’t on the same schedule. This really fits in with the first con, short summer break.  Definitely miss out when invited to do something (go to the pool, have a sleep-over, go to an amusement park) we have to politely decline because ‘that’s a school night’ or ‘ he has school that day’.

PRO: THE EXTENDED BREAKS the rest of the year.  We get longer for every major break. At the end of September we will have a three week break that will bleed into October.  This is during non peak times so we have good opportunities to go places with out crowds and for off season rates.

CON: Missed not one but TWO Vacation bible schools. OK, to many, many people this is a ‘so what’ moment. But we miss the opportunity for the little guy to learn about faith and the message in a format customized for kids to make learning fun and the message age appropriate. For the past few years he has gone to the VBS at both our church and NewMoms parents church.  This year he missed BOTH opportunities.

This list goes on and on. There are many pros and probably just as many cons.  I do lament over the fact that the little guy does miss out on certain things, but I am glad to see he is not missing a beat as he returns to the classroom.

We did our best to make sure he had a fulfilling break, not too busy but not without anything to do. Watch for new posts this week about our very busy summer (camp camp and more camp) and the triumphant return to Woodbury as a SECOND GRADER!!!

 

What are your favorite Summer break memories? Please comment and share.