Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Park Days

This is my first time participating in Works For Me Wednesday over at Rocks In My Dryer. Today she's chosen a theme which is near and dear to a mom's heart. What to do when summer vacation hits and the kids start saying, "Mom, what can I do? I'm bored!"

No doubt everyone will have loads of great ideas and I thought I'd toss mine into the hat as well. While my kids are grown I still haven't been able to get that ringing out of my ears yet.

First a freebie. This is not my main contribution to today's Hot Topic but I throw it out there for moms who might be clueless like me. There was this "Aha!" moment when it dawned on me that I could coordinate the kids' summer camps so they WOULD BE GONE AT THE SAME TIME. Granted that first year I realized it, the youngest was a Day Camper but that was still half of every day FOR A WHOLE WEEK that I had a mini-vacation.

So back to the regularly scheduled program...which was what I called Park Days. Not a complicated program at all. I simply invited my friends (which happened to be other homeschoolers for the most part) to begin joining me every Wednesday at the park. It was a come-when-you-can kind of deal and all summer long the numbers ebbed and flowed as we went on vacation, had family reunions, etc. Sometimes there would be just a handful and other weeks we'd fill the park.

We were always some of the first to arrive each Wednesday. 'Cause I wasn't big on having everything at the house in order before we left. We usually just got up, had breakfast, packed lunch and left. Some of my friends, however, made sure beds were made, houses were tidied, gardens they didn't get there until almost lunchtime. Some of us stayed all day (as in the equivalent of a school day), others came for the morning and left right after lunch, those that arrived later usually stayed later. See, not a complicated thing at all. What was consistent was the fun the kids had playing together and the moms had visiting with one another on those long, lazy days of summer.

Park Days were life-savers for me! Of course we didn't get anything done at home. But hey, we also weren't home to make more of a mess! I started this when my kids were wee little and continued it right up until they were too old to play in the park. (And confess that I sometimes still went after that without them, just for the fellowship with the other moms!) So if you're feeling claustrophobic and the kids are bouncing off the walls, call up a few friends and institute your own Park Days!

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