I work (very) part-time as career counselor at a local college. My sole responsibility is to meet with students individually, and help them with various aspects of their job and internship searches. I don’t attend meetings, participate in events, or teach classes. But because I only meet with students, I only work when they’re on-campus and coming into the career center. I’m off during their six-week winter break, their spring break, and summers. As I write this in mid-June, I’ve already been on summer break for almost six weeks.
Here in our part of upstate New York, school gets out in late June, which means my daughter will be starting her summer break in a matter of days. This fills me with both excitement and terror. On the one hand, my daughter is at a great age – 6 ½ – and is a lot of fun to do things with. I love chatting with her, watching her learn new things, and creating memories together. On the other hand, she’s an only child, which means she often looks to her parents for companionship and entertainment. I can only play so many hands of Go Fish!, make so many crafts, and watch so many of her performances, before I need a break. So being home together for approximately 10 weeks can get dicey.
However, I’m pretty proud of how I handled her recent April break week, and plan to model our summer break on it. During that week, I planned one “fun thing” every day. We went to several events at the awesome Saratoga Springs library, had several playdates (at our house and other people’s), and went into the “big city” of Albany to meet my husband for lunch near his office one day. There was something for her to look forward to every day, but we weren’t so over-scheduled that I felt like I was running around too much. We both got appropriate amounts of socialization and quiet time. (We’re introverts, so quiet time is a priority!)
This summer will be a little different because she’ll be attending several weeks of camps, plus we’ll be taking a week-long family vacation. But there will be plenty of unstructured time to fill with more library events, playdates galore, visits to local attractions like Adirondack Animal Land, several state parks, and the farmers’ market, and performances at the wonderful Saratoga Performing Arts Center. I’m feeling ready; bring it on, summer!
How are your family’s summer days and weeks? Do you create a lot of structure, or keep things loose?