Friday, July 07, 2000

Summertime blues

Is it September yet?

Seriously, I think the summer is going to kill me. We're only a couple of weeks in, and already I'm in a tizzy. The kids are just finishing up on the half-day church camp that turned into a quarter-day for my son, adding to my rush-around-all-morning quotient, and now, on Monday, begins the mad-dash two-kids-at-two-camps-at-one-time derby. The camps are 20 minutes apart. They start and end at the same time, Where do I go to get me one of them time machines?

Then, after a week, my daughter's camp changes, bringing in a whole new set of transport challenges. And after that, she has no camp but her brother does, which makes transportation easier but also means I have a child at home to amuse. Then, when my son's camp ends, I have two. There's a vacation in there somewhere, but all that means to me now is packing and unpacking and occupying jumpy kids on a long airplane flight.

Probably the worst part of all these varied and rush-around summer plans is that we lose our nice predictable routine. The school year has its share of surprises, too, but the kiddos are in the same school, and they're there for a set amount of hours each day, and their after-school activities fall into a predictable pattern, and that's a good thing. For the kids, because routine is so important for children with neurological impairments. And for me, because without a routine to anchor the day's events I forget things.

Last week, for example, I forgot to take my son to his camp orientation. Just plum forgot. It was on the calendar, I had rearranged my work schedule to accommodate it, I was looking forward to meeting his counselors and group-mates, it had been a cherished plan for weeks. And I forgot, because I spent the morning running around helping out at the church camp, brought my son home at the quarter-day mark, went back to church for my daughter's group's program, brought her home and made lunch, handled some work problems long-distance, picked up my niece from day care. . . About the only thing I didn't do was check the darn calendar. And so now I have to wedge a specially arranged camp visitation into this week's impossible schedule.

Two weeks, and I'm ready for a break. I'm ready for a nap. I'm ready to surrender. I'll admit, I can't keep up. Every day, on our dashing around, we pass the school the kids will be going to in the fall. It will take me three minutes to get them there, and then I will have my days back. Nine weeks and counting. I hope I last that long.

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