If today was any indication of what summer will look like, I am not certain how one is to survive the long summer months at home with three children. Seeing how they will be with their father for the majority of this summer, I need to find something to occupy their time for the three weeks I do have them. Something not requiring a great outpouring of money, that is.
The dynamics change when you have three children as opposed to two and certainly are quite different from having one child. I do not recall my childhood being so unruly as today was with my three children but I do remember finding things to keep myself busy, to include reading, writing, and searching for rocks.
There were the road trips we took across the States and the infrequent trips to Croatia (then Yugoslavia), but many things I do not remember from my childhood summers. The trips to Croatia were by far my most favourite and is something I would like to give to my children one of these summers. Saffron is the only one who has seen that country but she was only a year old at the time.
Summer break is upon us at the end of this week and the children will be spending the first two weeks of it with their father, then the next two weeks with me. The next time I see them after that will be at the end of the first week of August. I am certain they will have stories to tell about their five weeks with the new family as many things will change for them this summer.
A case for year-round schools would be a wise decision for the States to consider for many reasons. Mostly the loss of study discipline is a great concern as children turn away from books and instead end up playing with friends or are lost in the shuffle as parents try to balance work and summer schedules along with their sanity.
There is only so much parents can do for their children to ensure summer is a pleasant experience. At some point, children need to take responsibility and find things to entertain themselves. Some days this is possible but then there are days like today which test a parent's patience. At that point, you put on some music and get lost in the sounds of your favourite band, hoping your children will be soothed by the music as well.
Next year will be my turn to have the children for most of the summer. They will be a year older and hopefully a little less unruly, albeit that is not as realistic a desire. Today's taste of summer was certainly frustrating, from the slamming of doors to 'I'm telling!' to screams of 'Mama!'. One cannot help wonder how parents manage to survive these long summer months, but somehow we do. Then the entire cycle starts once again in August as the children return to school and life returns to a somewhat normal state.