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By Contributing Mama Daphne Biener

Allow me to explain why my nose is up so high in the air. I carry it thus to signify my utmost disdain for those mothers. You know the ones: ‘Sure, little Johnie can come play; he has a window between cello lessons and soccer practice but only on alternate Tuesdays when he’s not occupied with agility camp and chef school.’ Overscheduled. It’s something I would never do.

I am of the camp where summertime means children luxuriously lounging in the grass weaving dandelions into necklaces. Where the quiet streets ring out with the laughter of carefree kids playing tag beneath leafy trees. Lemonade on porch swings and fireflies in a jars with holes poked in the lid. Shooting stars, that kind of thing if you know what I mean.

Oh hell, why don’t I just airbrush a fuzzy glow over my whole life and photoshop my nose back into joint? You see, despite my valiant efforts to the contrary our summer is INSANELY OVERSCHEDULED!

Let me take a moment to thank those of you who refrained from rolling your eyes and laughing in my face as I repeatedly and obliviously uttered the following statement:

Oh, no, we’re not doing much of anything this summer. Hanging out mostly. Well, except for swim team three nights a week. And Acadia’s ballet camp. And Kira’s jump rope clinics. Oh yes, and one week of camp for both girls at the museum; they do such nice job with camps there, you know? And Kira ,of course, is doing the town play again. And camping, oh yes, we’re going up to the mountains a couple of times to camp. And visitors too, we have guests coming every weekend of June…

How did this happen? I swear, with every ounce of my being, that I believe unscheduled children are healthier, more creative and less likely to look like me (that is, running in circles with my hair on fire looking for a cell phone which is, of course, in the band-aid box in the medicine chest and the keys which I manage to stash repeatedly in the freezer). Shame on me! I know I’ve rolled my accusatory eyes at mothers who spend hours juggling their kids’ frantic schedules. At least those moms always appear to have brushed their hair and showered. I’m lucky if I remember to change out of pajamas before hopping behind the wheel of the Activity-Express.

Hello. My name is Mommy Daphne. I have a problem.

You want to know the worst part? I actually believed that I had created a carefree, activity-free, free-form summer. Am I really this clueless? Maybe we could sit down and talk about it? Just not on Tuesdays or Thursdays – clearly I need to sign up for that class on logistics. And Mondays, don’t even get me started on Mondays. Come to think of it, count out Wednesdays and Fridays too. I need those days to start searching my sanity. It must’ve fallen out when I lost my head.

16 Responses to our crazy, hazy days of summer (what happened to lazy?)

  • Diane says:

    I have this same problem – I've started a chapter of over-planners anonymous! I know lots of people that are candidates to join. Have a fantastic and peaceful summer!

  • Queen Goob says:

    Don't worry, in a few years they will be teenagers and not WANT to do anything. Then YOU can weave dandelions into necklaces, play tag beneath leafy trees, drink lemonade on the porch swing and catch fireflies in a jar with holes poked in the lid. (Which I just did a few days ago with the kids across the street!)

  • Dave B says:

    Just so you know, the kids don't seem to be too busy to smell the rose….and dandelions…and irises. Yesterday Kira showed me the "secret iris" which is blooming in a spot where they previously had not and Acadia literally stops to smell the rose bush on a daily basis.

  • Tori says:

    perhaps you were dreaming of my summers as a kid…very flex since the 'rents routinely forgot to plan ahead? maybe it's your organized nature that is getting the best of you 🙂

  • sharon says:

    Wow, so does that mean that we need to book our playdates and bbqs now? We want to join in for the scheduled hours of "nothingness," please. We'll need it with all the craziness we've gotten ourselves into this summer (too)!

  • grace says:

    Very cute and self aware! I still haven't decided if I'm a planner or not. It depends on the week and what my planner looks like!

  • Lanie says:

    The picture of the girls is so cute. If I try to plan anything these days the twins seem to find ways to remind me that they have a plan of their own. . .

    Can you look at your schedule for Jazz Fest 2009? Or, if you are already booked put us down for Jazz Fest 2010 :-).

  • I can totally relate to this, and wrote a similar post myself. Overscheduling is BAD, I agree, and yet so EASY to do. (I mean, who wants to forgo those great summer camps?) It creeps up on us, as people and as parents, and I think it takes real planning to keep things in check. Sounds like you’re on the right track…hang in there!

kelcey kintner