Saturday, June 13, 2009


I'm lucky. I know that. The kids happen to go to the elementary school with the latest start time in the entire district. They don't start school until 9:10am. It's good for me, since I am the furthest thing from a morning person. It's good for the kids, since they don't usually have to be woken up before they are ready. It's nice, especially when the weather is bad during the winter. It gives me more time to get them up and going, to shovel the driveway if I need to and still get to school on time. It's late enough that if the district is going to cancel school for the day because of weather, I will know long before I'd be getting ready.

There are many, many upsides to having a later start. But the late start also comes with a price. We aren't used to getting up really early. I'm not, and the kids aren't. When it came time to plan the activities for the kids over the summer, I quickly realized that we'd have to get used to alarm clocks and yawning. Many of the activities the kids are interested in start hours before we are usually out and about.

Aidan exhausted the usefulness of swim lessons last summer, and still wanted to be in the pool all the time. We asked him if he would be interested in swim team and he jumped at the chance. Only it's 5 days a week, all summer. And it starts at 9:15. On the other end of town.

That was bad enough, but then Ashley decided that she wanted desperately to take tennis lessons. Great idea, right? They start even earlier than swim team. We have to leave the house by 8am twice a week for tennis. It too is on the other end of town. I'm starting to think we live on the wrong side of the city.

Ally is taking ballet, but thankfully her class doesn't start until 10:30. By then, my day is already half over!

I've learned quickly to get as much ready at night as possible. And the kids have bags for their activities, holding the must-have items all the time. I was telling Tom last night that I need to come up with some more functional way to organize the daily necessities. The rackets and cleats and goggles and footless tights. The things that the kids need on an almost daily basis. Trying to keep it all straight is a challenge, to be sure.

I've wondered why they schedule all these summertime activities for so early in the morning. Between tennis and swimming, I have 15 minutes. 15 minutes to get all the kids and the chairs and the tennis gear and the stroller in the car. Drive to the pool, and get out the stroller, the kids, the sand toys, the towels and sunscreen. I have a bit longer between swimming and ballet, but it never seems like it.

I spend the first few hours of my days running around like a mad woman trying to make sure that everyone gets where they need to be in time. And, at least so far, I've been successful. I just wish the kids weren't done for the day by 11am. I could do without the afternoon whining and boredom.

Summer, it seems, is more work than the school year. And summertime means early mornings. And early mornings mean coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. When does school start?

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