Thursday, July 27, 2006

Bring Me Back A Souvenir.

I'm going to miss it. For awhile there, I thought that I could pull off some sort of superhuman stunt and actually be able to attend. Maybe, just maybe, through the miracle of time travel or even some very effective street drugs I could possibly be in two places at once. Because while most of you will be at BlogHer, feeling the blogging love and knocking back vats of martinis and hugging each other, I'll be doing fifty loads of laundry and making my hundredth trip to Target to buy teeny bottles of shampoo and travel packs of Kleenex.

In four days I'll be getting on a plane for Tokyo. I had fantasies at one time of actually going to BlogHer and then trying to make it back in time to prepare to leave on an international trip with my husband, two children and nine other members of my family. Rigel had even made a cockamamie suggestion of me flying to San Jose and then he and the girls would meet me there and we would all fly off to Japan. But then I remembered it was me I was talking about, the person who takes three hours just to make a list to prepare for a trip to Costco and whose organizational skills are eclipsed by those of a ferret. Me, who just yesterday looked at her airline ticket and realized that HER NAME WAS WRONG and will now have to spend the better part of the day going to the travel agency to have her ticket and her railpass exchanged. Me, who once, on a trip to New York in a December blizzard realized that she had forgotten to pack any shoes other than the canvas espadrilles she was wearing on her feet.

So, all of you who are going, please take lots of pictures and post them frequently. I'll have my laptop with me and will try not to forget my power adaptor so I can actually plug it in. I'll try not to get too jealous when I see you all there, partying and connecting and relating and baring your breasts. And please, have a drink for me and pray I don't lose my passport.

Pin It

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Girls Of Summer.

My kids have been on vacation for just over two weeks. Anybody with school-age children is familiar with the frequently-asked question this time of year: "So, what are your kids doing this summer?" Most people will enthusiastically answer this with a list of activities ranging from theater camps where ten-year-olds put on elaborate productions of Les Miserables to expensive art classes where their kindergartners will spend the summer months re-creating Van Goghs out of macaroni, beads and dental floss. Rigel and I have gotten used to the disapproving looks when we answer with, "It's a shame, but after we sleep until noon and then make a couple of trips to McDonalds for Oreo McFlurries, there's just no time left in the day."

(Alright, we are leaving the country in a few weeks for a thirteen day trip, but that doesn't count. Everyone goes on vacation - it's the time surrounding the vacation that is in question here, the other whole ten weeks, those empty spaces on the calendar that tell the world that while all the other kids will be designing a new Mars Rover at Space Camp yours will be at home eating OtterPops by the caseful and watching you caulk the bathtub. )

I've discovered that there are two distinct types of parents when it comes to activity planning. First there are The Planners, those parents that diligently scour websites and catalogs for educational, enriching summer activities for their children and then sign them up in a timely fashion, making sure to read all the rules and regulations so that little Amber doesn't show up on her first day of Opera Camp without the proper snack or sheet music. Then you have The Slackers, those of us who wake up on the last day of school and suddenly realize that we've not enrolled our children in so much as a single swimming lesson, and panic at the prospect of three long unstructured months ahead of us. We then go without sleep for the next two days, glued to our computers trying to find a class, a camp, anything, and finally give up when we realize that the only thing that isn't filled up is a Life Drawing class for 8-10 year olds that suspiciously takes place in the home of a middle-aged man named Uncle Pete.

As one of The Slackers, I've become adept at coming up with excuses as to why my girls are watching excessive amounts of TV instead of learning how to churn butter at Amish Camp. "Oh, those classes were all filled up" I'd say, or "Our religion forbids activity between sunup and sundown." On the last day of school I was talking to another parent and she mentioned that her daughter would be spending two weeks at a children's pottery class. When I feigned interest she guffawed and said, "Oh, it's too late. The classes have been filled since February." I realized, like a true Slacker, that there was no way I would have had the foresight to sign my girls up for a class five months ahead of time. In February I was too busy doing my Christmas shopping - for 2005.

So this is what we're doing: we'll be spending our days hanging out in the backyard, going to the bookstore and loitering around our local Starbucks. We'll fit in a few visits to the beach and the park, and alternate between the roller and ice skating rinks. There'll be many errand days, where'll they'll just tag along with me to Trader Joes, Target, the post office and back to Target. They'll be forced to come along with me on at least one of the following appointments: hair, doctor, or dentist. I'll bribe them with ice cream, Jamba juices and trips to the pool. We'll get on each others very last nerve, curse under our breaths (me), scream that we're bored (them) and throw ourselves on the bed and cry (them and me.) In September, when they return to school and their friends demonstrate their mastery of Sanskrit acquired over the summer, my daughters will recite dialog from episodes of SpongeBob verbatim and proudly show off their towering room divider constructed entirely of McFlurry cups.

Lest you think we are truly horrible parents, we did actually ask the girls what they wanted to do this summer. Gymnastics? Dance Camp? Roadie School? (That was Rigel's idea.) Their answer? "We just want to hang out with you guys." And knowing that in the not too distant future their answer will be a very different one, we're happy, at least for this summer, to let the days unfold on their own.

Pin It

Related Posts with Thumbnails