Summer Plans for You and Me

By Le’Shawn Turner (Follow us on LinkedIn)

“You can’t plan everything!”, my mom would say. Let’s be clear that statement is more her talking to herself than me because she is the planner in the family. Part of what I want to teach my kids is how to roll with it. Also, how to listen to your inner voice and heed any warnings or nagging feelings. I will seek their input regarding my plans for our summer because, of course, it is their summer break too. I want them to feel heard and considered, but I will make sure they know Mama’s not made of money. Then I know I also have to allow for chaos and spontaneity. Why?

Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

Schooooolllll’s out for SUMMER!!! These lyrics bubble to the surface of my memory every year around this time. Only now it evokes a different array of feelings. When I was a child in school, K-12 (Pre-K didn’t show up on the school scene until I was in Fifth grade!), the end of the school year was like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It meant that I no longer had to wake up before the sun came up, hurriedly get dressed and eat just, so I could rush to the last place in the world I wanted to be. I HATED school. I was a good student, I earned good grades, I earned the respect of my teachers and peers. Nevertheless, I HATED school. Because that train of thought is so logical, I not only earned my Bachelor’s degree, I went on to earn 3 graduate level degrees. Because, of course, only “kids” who hate school would do that. LOL!! 

Now that I am a parent, the end of the school year is different, at least it feels different. The academic year started with excitement, stress, and a bit of anxiety for everyone. The great unknown of a new school year! It ended with relief, fatigue, and wonder. Everybody was over it, all of it. Regardless of the early mornings, testing anxiety, and long nights; it has finally arrived. The end of another school year.  

So, what now? My little humans’ plans include sleeping late, lots of TV time, late night Disney + binging, loads of tablet time, and eating me out of house and home. My plans include a couple of days a week to sleep in late, a reasonable amount of TV time, reasonable bedtimes (lights out by 9:30 pm), tablet time a few days a week, and a lock on my refrigerator door. While I want my little humans to enjoy their summer break, a level of responsibility must be maintained.  

My plan is to let them sleep on most days. I believe they’ve earned extra rest during the summer. It was a very hectic school year.  I will allow TV time. In my house, TV time is used as alone time to recharge and family entertainment time. We get together to watch the latest shows, movies, or reruns of our favorite shows. Each day there will be designated reading time (spontaneous reading time is absolutely allowed), at least 20 minutes. Also, each week there will be family movie night which will include a meal from a restaurant and junk food. Daily, there will be some sort of “movement” that will count as exercise. Because we all know if they get into the habit of exercise now, it will be easier to do it later. There will be trips to the museums, aquariums, pools, and the libraries (and bookstores) of course.  

So this summer I will embrace my kids more, enjoy the time we have together, learn more about them, and side eye their “summer appetite”. But more than anything I will enjoy that SCHOOL’S OUT FOR SUMMER!!!

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Notes Between Us (NBU) is a blog about conversations and topics of interest to the writers. The writers are expressing their personal opinions solely. The essays represent their personal beliefs and not that of their workplaces or any organization they are associated with.