The summer of trying again

Back in January, as I often do, I made a camp spreadsheet for the summer. I put the weeks of summer along the left-hand side, and my four school-aged children’s names along the top. Then I noted which program each kid would be in during each week. I didn’t fill in every week for every kid, but I did account for most of them. With a baby at home, and a new childcare arrangement (our long-time nanny is on a pre-arranged 3-month leave over the summer), I figured it would be best to get the kids out of the house as much as possible.

Then COVID-19 happened. One theater camp went virtual, which my Zoom-addled children had zero interest in. The other, which all four kids were doing at some point, announced they were canceling camp for the summer because they didn’t think they could follow rules about social distancing.

Except…then the guidance released in late May here is that camps can open, and the rules on social distancing are modified to account for the realities of young kids. With my kids having reached the breaking point on boredom, I’ve been trying to pull together some stuff from the smaller programs that have been nimble enough to relaunch for late summer. Two kids will do an abbreviated baseball season with our local Little League in July and August. The 5-year-old starts a baseball day camp next week. We signed the kids up for tennis lessons. A local art center opens for in-person teen camps in mid-July. A pottery studio has announced they will be open. The theater camp that went virtual decided to hold in-person camp in August, so the two kids who were doing that are now signed back up.

I’m also taking advantage of my parents’ proximity (they moved to New Jersey last summer) to ship one child at a time to them (mostly earlier in the summer before the camps start to be on the safe side). The kids are getting to enjoy being only children for a little while with them. We’re also doing a lot of beach time. Yesterday we went to a local park to play in the creek for a while. It’s not going to be quite the summer we had planned, but I think it will be OK in the end. I ordered another round of Legos too. My 10-year-old and I will be building a Lego ship in a bottle.

In other news: For Father’s Day, I am giving my husband the gift of getting our minivan “detailed.” I guess this means cleaned out and it really needs it. The company said they would come to the driveway and make the minivan look like new. I doubt this is possible, but I will report back.

Also, welcome to new readers who heard me on the Martha Debayle show! That was a lot of fun, if a bit nerve-wracking when Zoom oddly switched me over to a virtual background and I wound up with the Golden Gate bridge on my shirt. I think (I hope) they will cut that part before posting on her video channels.

5 thoughts on “The summer of trying again

  1. I had my son’s car detailed as a high school graduation present many years back. Took it to a local place and the young man checking me in said “I wish my mom would do that for me!”. Don’t think I’ll ever forget that. It’s a great gift for anyway – and even cooler that they will come to you!

  2. I think I am the only one – but I hate the blurred and virtual backgrounds on all the video chat services. I understand why people use them -but I find them endlessly distracting. People’s arms disappear and reappear – as do their coffee cups or their children in the background. On a call yesterday, a guy on my team kept leaning back in his chair, and disappearing completely then popping back. I am always so distracted by the algorithm that decides what is “face” and what is not. Sorry to ruin this for anyone – but I have to get it off my chest and given the use – it seems to be an unpopular opinion.

  3. I originally had a few days of planned vacation for a camp with my teenage boys the first week of June. I still had the time off but the camp was cancelled. We decided instead as a family to do a four-day Cowboy-themed camp at home to include my wife, all five of our boys, and me. My 15-year-old son is an Eagle Scout and helped us with the planning. We came up with a theme for each day: Cattle Drive, Spaghetti Western, Exploring the Wilderness, and Building the Homestead. We had different activities that we could do at or relatively near our home. We learned new things, played fun games, dressed in costumes, cooked some new recipes, and watched a movie each night related to that night’s theme.

    It was a great start to the summer. The kids loved it. However, we might have set the bar a little bit high. We still have a lot of summer left.

  4. We just got our minivan detailed last week for the first time ever! I will say, I was doubtful going into it….crumbs EVERYWHERE….I figured no way could they get some of those places clean. But they did!! It looks amazing. We had purchased some new floor mats we were waiting to put in until we got it detailed, so with the clean van plus the new floor mats, our 2012 van now looks almost new! I keep joking that I’m going to hang the boys off a bike rack outside instead of allowing them to ride inside anymore, in order to keep it clean. 😉

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