I have four kids whose age range is just four years (there are twins in there). So, when we go through a phase, we go through a phase. There were days when we got diapers by the several case delivery, or 5 gallons of milk every time Peapod came, or when every thud-thud-thud was a kid falling down a flight of stairs. (Still happens every once in a while, but I also still gasp and panic every time I hear a thud-thud-thud, even though it’s usually the washing machine. “Is everyone okay!?!?!?” I’ll yell while running to the stairs. The response is a terrifying silence and then maybe a whisper “Why is she such a spaz?” To which I say “I can hear you, and it’s genetic. Spaz!” Well, not really because I can’t actually hear anything. I’m old.)
Here are some key differences in the way we approach summer then, vs. now.
Then: A playroom with foot gouging legos and naked barbies all over the floor.
Now: A maker space filled with pom poms, googley eyes and the errant glue gun.
Then: Three babies and/or toddlers stayed home with me while one big girl went off with her bag of water shoes and bug spray.
Now: One teenager stays home with me while three youngers . . . also stay home with me while I throw out too small water shoes and expired bug spray.
(There were the golden years: I’d push through a eyeball-twitch-inducing scheduling session and get everyone into a few camps of their interest level/with their friends. I’d take that, and the bag full of soggy artwork and sopping wet towels over what we do now. A whole lot of nothing, punctuated by me suggesting things either no one wants to do or one or more absolutely must do while one or more absolutely refuses to do it. And lots of iPad engagement and sighing at mom, saying “never mind,” and stalking away to one’s room. )
Then: We used to just eat strawberries.
Now: We find strangely shaped ones and make Instagram accounts for them. (Check out Charlie the Strawberry-Duck )
Then: One summer we made a video with friends of a baking-themed TV show.
Now: This summer, we’re doing makeup tutorials for YouTube.
The Community Pool
Then: diapers kept some of the kids in the baby pool while others had aged out. I would stand at the fence between the two and watch both pools like a revolving lighthouse beam.
Now: Have you ever seen a high school kid at the pool who is not a life guard? My high schoolers are not life guards and my middle schoolers are basically over it.
Then: diapers, life jackets, helmets, small bicycles, booster seats, DVDs, snacks.
Now: makeup wipes, wet suits, baseball caps, paddle boards, phone chargers, Netflix passwords, snacks.