Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I realized today that The Kid has nine more days of school left. Nine days until my boy is out of school for the summer and it's just me and him (with occasional Lefty-ness thrown in but let's face facts - Lefty has research students and will be working every day this summer except for our vacation).

Now, first and foremost, I love hanging out and spending time with my kid. He's smart and funny and kind. The problem is I am used to having this big sweet chunk of hours during the day all to myself, alone, just me and the laundry. During the day I can listen to any kind of music I want and sing really loud. I talk to myself. A lot. I read and I settle somewhere and get a chunk of writing done and it's pretty easy because I am all alone. I have the veil of solitude draped around me every weekday until 3:00 and I really love the headspace and mental health this time provides me.

But I love hanging out with my kid and we have both been looking forward to our summer plans, which are basically a whole lot of nothing (Laura, is that unschooling?). We're going to the library once a week. We're going to read a lot of books. The Kid is going to learn to use GameMaker. We're going to water plants and play in the sprinkler. I'm going to teach him to wash the dishes (he's actually kind of excited about this)! There will be trips to the museum and the botanical gardens and the zoo. We're going to perfect our roller skating techniques. The only thing I will be missing is my precious little jewel of regular time alone.

When I quit my office job, summer was one of the motivating factors - this is what I wanted for us for the summer.

So today, when I went up to the school at 12:45 to ask them to call my boy to the office so I could slather sunscreen on his fair fair skin which is just getting fried during his gym class these days (and they are not allowed to wear a hat – not that he'd wear one anyway – but still, don't they REQUIRE kids in Australia to wear hats in public schools?!), I said, just think nine more days and it will be summer and I can slather sunscreen on you anytime I want! He laughed and smiled and did a little squirmy shrug that made me realize how lucky I am that my kid is looking forward to spending the next couple of months with me – and I have the luxury of being able to spend it with him.


  1. Our school (a private school in Florida) encourages hats at recess. Very few kids wear them. I am glad that it is a choice for our fair skinned friends.

  2. Hey Laura -- I have a friend whose son has been in and out of public, private and home schools. My friend is a sad woman who had a sad childhood with detached parents. She talks about her son like she's given up on him and is justified in doing so, because of the problems he has caused for her and others. A couple of months ago she stopped sitting down with him to "do schoolwork" and basically left him to play video games by himself all day. She doesn't play with him or, really, make any effort at all to connect with him.

    She sighed and told me, "I guess he's unschooling now."

    Ugh. She just doesn't get it. You do, Laura. :) You love spending time with your boy and he knows that. You involve yourself in whatever interests him. You get excited about the things that excite him! That warms my heart. And the warm feeling isn't from unschooling or not unschooling -- it's reading about a boy and his parents who have a loving, sweet relationship. You would be a terrific unschooler, and we love that lifestyle here, but you know when your own kid is happy and whole, and you are a parent who cares about that.
    Have a Happy Vacation!!

    (Oh, wait -- I was going to tell you that you gets lots of that alone time when they get older. Now that mine are 14 and 15, I miss the days when I was the center of their world. Enjoy it while it lasts. Sounds like you are doing that! :)

    Sorry so LONG!

  3. I think a lot of moms share your sentiments. Of course you love your boy. He's your boy! But kids are NEEDY and who wants to go from being alone and getting stuff done, to scheduling everything about needy kids? Switching gears is tough, but you'll have fun!

    And I highly recommend at least one hour every day of quiet time. He can stay in his room and read or color or something...and you can have a snippet of your day back.

  4. Laura: Thanks. You and Mrs. G have taught me so much - remind me how lucky I am when we have one of those very trying days midsummer and I'm complaining about it! And you can leave as many long comments as you want!

  5. I feel like we're in the same place--wanting to spend time with our gorgeous little boys, wanting our alone time. I do realize how lucky I am to still be the center of his world, but...I'm going crazy with the not-writing. And it's just going to get worse--Nathan's vacation begins 6/9.

    So how are we going to do this, Laura? Are we getting up early? Instigating afternoon quiet time? There's got to be some way to compromise.

  6. Hey Karen! I get up early (5:30) and do some very groggy, blurry journaling before anyone else wakes up and we have 45 minutes of quiet time after lunch (I brilliantly instigated this when The Kid quit napping).

    I keep a clipboard and pen on the kitchen counter and scribble in my spare moments.

    How are YOU going to do it?!

  7. I'm with you! I don't have to work again until the end of August and oh - I am so going to enjoy all that time with my children!