SUMMER is my favorite season, perhaps it is because I’m a girl of summer, my birthday is July 28, and July 23 is my wedding anniversary. Growing up summer was associated with “school is OUT!” , and it was a time to do whatever…so different from the kids of today, every moment scheduled with sports camp, SAT prep, travel teams, dance, gymnastics, swimming, community service, deb balls, scouts the list goes on and on. I am guilty of all the above, especially with my daughter, she was in everything!
Maybe it is the second child syndrome, but I am so much more relaxed with my son. After years of observing so many children, so many scenarios everything from “tiger moms” to kids scrambling for themselves, I’ve come to the conclusion that we can only do so much-our children need to fall into the safety net, they will be OK, if they don’t have any failures how will they ever appreciate success? It is OK to make a mistake here and there, sometimes our attempt to prepare them for everything backfires.
I’ve learned to accept my children and their shortcomings, which I don’t dwell on, just concentrating on their strengths. I know there are thousands of colleges out there, not just the 10 or so that come to mind. I want them to be independent and confidence in their decisions and that comes with backing off and letting them face the consequences of some of their choices. My husband always shares with my kids how he got a “F” in chemistry when he was in high school, and how that contributed to his academic success later in life.
This summer is going to be pretty low key, my son is doing a little math review, and studying Italian. He sleeps in on the days he does not have class, wakes up and chills. I thought about a SAT prep for a minute and decided next summer would be soon enough. Poor Amani started taking the SAT in the 6th grade, I know-I was a hot mess. We’ll do some spontaneous outings, a few that he may actually enjoy and I will go to a few movies-the kind that are targeted for 16 year old boy demographic. We’ll have casual days by the pool, informal gatherings of friends and family.
I’ll work on me, tweaking a few things, physically and mentally, working on constantly staying ahead of settling into that “comfort” zone of mediocrity that is so easy to do at my age.
So take time this summer to enjoy the simple things. Pack a lunch, and go to the beach, or local park, roller skate, ride a bike-it’s OK not to be scheduled every waking moment.
Let the sun warm you soul, and the water cool your body…