As spring turns the hills of Sonoma electric green, I am filled with a sense of dread. I do not dread the gorgeous weather and the warm sunny days perfect for swimming. I do not dread bathing suit season (much) – it is summer vacation and the change to our schedule that keeps me up at night.
I am not trying to compete with the families whose summer vacation plans would make a celebrity envious. I am a working mom who has very little vacation time. While I welcome several weeks off of school for my child (no homework!), I hate having to make the decision of what to do and where to send him for those few weeks that seem to stretch into eternity.
My child has also started to fear those weeks as well. This is probably because he is impossibly hard to please when it comes to summer activities. He has also spent plenty of time bored at home with babysitters who take home almost as much cash in a day as I do. Or maybe he is picking up on my apprehension. Maybe it’s the fact that almost nobody from his class will be at one of these camps and if they are, it will not be for as long as him. I console myself with the thought that this teaches him independence and forces him to make new friends. That consolation doesn’t, however, make it any easier when he wakes up every morning asking what ‘we’ are going to do and I reply that ‘he’ is going to camp. Again.
This year will be our second real summer vacation and we will be trying all new camps this year because he was not thrilled with last year’s choices. The hardest part about choosing a camp is that out of the dozens of options available in this valley, only two seem to provide a full day schedule. I will soon begin praying daily that he will enjoy this new camp and that somehow I can take time off work to actually spend a few of those long summer days with him. I will also pray that he bonds with someone in this new camp and maybe even makes a lifelong friend. The theme changes every week at the new camp so I’m hopeful that will keep him interested and entertained for the summer.
The guilty side of me will no doubt allow him to swim past dark too often and eat way too much ice cream. I’ll try to make it up to him too by attempting to squeeze in a trip to the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz.
Being Mom is hard. Being a working mom during summer vacation can be even harder. I bet if I didn’t work he would start complaining that he spends too much time with me, right?