“If I could save time in a bottle…,” what a song, and thank you, Jim Croce, for uttering words that are truly timeless. If I could save time in a bottle, my expansive wealth would lead me to my remote island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean where I would read The Sarasota Post every day whilst drinking rum from a real coconut. We all look at our children, and think, where did the time go? Time is a hot commodity and when you figure that out, I think your appreciation level for everything goes up.
Considering Christmas seems like yesterday, thinking back to when the kids started school and summing up where we are in the calendar year now seems impossible. It is almost June, and I say that with a straight face for those of you with your Christmas lights still hanging on your houses. Fast forward to a few short weeks from now, which will feel like we had a sleep, and then, it is the last day of school. I know, how can it be? I see friends and relatives with graduating seniors this year and I know that will be me in a wrinkle or two and I just dread it. But for now, there is summer and with that, summer camp season. Are you ready? Me neither. So, if you don’t have all your T’s crossed and I’s dotted, there are still cool options that will satisfy your child’s need to be a kid, won’t break your imaginary budget, and, also won’t leaving you feeling like a terrible parent because your kid is bored. Let’s navigate this process together, with five simple ideas.
1. Send your kids to a relative. I am, and then I am backing that up with two weeks off of work, followed by “I hope they don’t kill each other” for six weeks. Sounds like a sound plan. In my case, the kids will be studying national treasures and places of historic significance while my husband and I sleep, then eat foods that do not grow in the freezer section of Publix, followed by hanging out with other tired, old people like ourselves.
2. Have them clean kennels and see just how hard it is to care for an animal before they beg for Christmas puppies. The Humane Society of Sarasota County is conducting Our Fur Fun Summer Camp where your kiddos will learn how to care for animals, meet shelter pets and other exotic animals, make crafts, listen to exciting speakers, and more. Cost is $200 per child with a $15 discount for siblings.
3. Is your kid always cracking jokes and generally, just “on”? Then your little “attention seeker” should find his or her way to the stage and see if they are stardom bound. Florida Studio Theatre is a wonderful venue mixed with a beautiful old theatre brimming with history for you to enjoy while your kid mingles with cool hipsters who happen to be trained professionals in several acting disciplines. At the end of the week you can enjoy a show where you will genuinely be impressed. They offer a variety of programs at different costs so please visit https://www.floridastudiotheatre.org/ for more information.
4. Sign them up for a running club. I want to participate in a 5K at some point in my life so selfishly, we are going to check this out. Zoomers Running Club is offered at several locations throughout Southwest Florida and chooses unique locations to meet up for runs. Their Youth Summer Run Series is a popular choice to get them off your couch and pounding their little Nikes to the pavement. This free four-week series culminates in a 5k in different communities throughout the area. Please visit http://zoomersrun.com/ for more information.
5. Go to the library. I know, who needs books when they have “NOOKS” and crannies full of electronics, which heaven forbid, they might read a book on. But, the library is really a mall of sorts where cool science programs, drop-in arts and craft days, puppet shows, comedians, great reading programs, and yes, rows and rows of those beautiful relics we call books. It’s amazing to see kids excited to check out books. Now, getting them to read them is another thing.
So, happy Summering to all, especially those with children, for we know it marks a little path of time we shall cherish before we are backpack shopping and cursing those school supply lists again. Let’s hope Father Time takes a nap and grants us a few extra spotlighted moments where we are doing nothing but lounging in our pj’s until noon, feeling grateful, and basking in the goodness with our children that time has afforded us.
Photos: Quality Time courtesy of Kevin Dooley on Flickr, commercial use allowed, The More You Read, The More You Know courtesy of Enokson on Flickr, commercial use allowed, Family courtesy of Kiran Foster on Flickr, commercial use allowed.