Just as I was feeling proud of my son for completing first grade, happy about his accomplishments this year, and surprisingly emotional about this first grade mini-life milestone, I realized summer was here.
The Summer of George! And I happen to be Costanza with two kids.
But that only momentarily stopped me in my tracks. What gave me serious pause was the race for signups.
Have you been a participant in this mad dash to be one of the select few to receive that amazing email that says, “…you have successfully registered your child for our summer program”? Have you gotten a few of these in your lifetime? They save your sanity when trying to entertain your kids during the summer. If I had a big house with a nice back yard, I assume summer would be easier. I’d have space to let my kids roam, and build projects, explore, and go outdoor camping inside our own home. But I don’t. I’m of the apartment people clan, where getting out everyday is a necessity.
So for me things began at 9:30 a.m.
I mean don’t get me wrong, 9:30 was nice. I was grateful that I didn’t have to rush the kids through their wake-up routine just so we could get to school on time. I was thankful I didn’t have to yell at them to get out of bed, to hurry up and brush their teeth, and to get dressed quickly just so they could scarf down their pancakes, Honey Bunches of Oats, or Eggo Waffles before we raced out the door before eight in the morning.
So 9:30 a.m. wasn’t a big deal. What happened to suck this particular morning was the stress I was feeling, the anxiety that was building, the teeny tiny headache that was forming in my brain that would eventually turn into Excedrin-worthy migraine if I wasn’t able to get my kids into any activities during the summer.
SoCal parents are crazy and have their kids in sports, music, acting, cooking and My Gym camps every day all day. I’m a part timer, don’t need to keep my kid busy from 9 to 5. I’m not like those moms you want to tackle because they go off bragging about how they got their kid in every single workshop and class available, because they knew someone, who knew someone, who knew someone. Bitches.
Me? I’m all for down time, and hanging out with Legos, playing in the park, having our own Foosball tournaments, baking cookies, and tending to our makeshift garden in the small patio. But I can’t do that all day, every day in the summer. They’d get bored. So I was looking for some help from our local library, museums, community centers, aquatic center, zoo, nature center, bowling alley, and local firefighting station.
Summer signups started today, well in truth some of them started three weeks ago, but a lot of activities didn’t have signups until today. I was hoping my Internet connection was fast enough to get something. I just needed to get into two programs during the week. Three would be awesome, but two was good.
Last year I had plenty of parent failures during the summer. Nobody ever told me that summer signups were like buying U2 concert tickets. Things selling out within minutes of opening online. I sure didn’t want a repeat occurrence of my disaster with the AYSO.
So I was ready this time. I researched online, organized my flyers, and prepared my summer timetable of possibilities. I had classes and times highlighted, login and password information readily available, and a credit card ready for those that required payment. You would have thought I was preparing for tax season with all the papers on the table.
The clock struck 9:30 a.m., my timer went off and bam!
Needless to say I wasn’t the only parent in pajamas staring at their computer screen that morning.
No dinosaur outdoor explorer classes, no basketball classes, no guitar classes, no local swimming classes. But I did manage to score swimming classes twice a week at a pool 10-15 minutes away, depending on traffic, and I was able score spots in the Every Hero Has a Story Workshops which featured music and magic once a week for my kids.
I got something. Something! And that’s success here in the Guat household.
Nobody ever told me about the madness of summer signups. It’s not in any of those what to expect when you’re expecting books, although I never read them. But I’m sure it’s not in there anyway. I would have heard. This is something you learn. So I’m giving you the lesson free of charge.
Hope it helps.