Every year the Metro library has a fabulous summer program to encourage kids to read. Most libraries probably have something similar. You read a certain number of books or read for a certain number of hours and get a prize. Personally, reading is its own reward for me, but there are some reluctant readers who need extra incentive, and this is great for us because it allows us to do something we’d never have the money to do otherwise. This year we chose to go to Nashville Shores. It’s a water park with water slides, a lake, a new wave pool and “Lazy River.” All county schools in Middle Tennessee are now in session, so there were very few people there other than other homeschooling families and some adults. There were no lines any where and the kids rode the water slides as many times as they wanted. We went with another family and had such a fun time!
It was a bit stressful to me that, even though we started school three weeks ago, we were already taking two days off this week–one for Doodlebug’s birthday and one for Nashville Shores. “It will wreak havoc on my carefully planned schedule! It will put us behind by two days!” We did it any way, and I’m so glad we did.
Yesterday my brother-in-law and family moved his oldest daughter into the freshman dorm at Austin Peay; last week my aunt and uncle moved my cousin into the freshman dorm at UTK, and my other cousin (same aunt and uncle) got married and went on a two year trip to Okinawa courtesy of the Air Force. I know both my aunt and uncle and brother-in-law and sister-in-law are all happy for their children–proud that they’ve come so far and happy for this new stage in their children’s lives; but these have to be bittersweet days for them as parents. Of course one of the main goals of parenthood is to get your children ready for adulthood–to be able to cope with life, laundry and love. But how hard to really let go!
So, in honor of Don, Pam, Amanda and Jason (and the newest Breazeale, Tiffany), and for Jeff, Sherry and Alyssa, I took the day away from grammar, multiplication tables, and the silent “E,” and from laundry, grocery shopping, dusting and house work. For the past two days I’ve climbed net ropes at the zoo and slopped lorikeet nectar all over my arm; I’ve raced Scooter Man down the water slide and lazed in an intertube with Doodlebug. I’ve wedged myself in a chair with Happy Girl (who is growing up at an alarming rate) to watch The Dog Whisperer on Hulu and invented a brownie recipe with my smaller daughter for her Star Night.
Here’s to family time and memory making and spontaneity. We will get back into a more normal school schedule today, and there will be mounds of laundry to put away, but we’ve had two days of special memory making that I wouldn’t trade for anything.