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6 Things that Scare Me About Summer Vacation

This is our first true summer vacation. The first time we’re finishing a school year and our summer isn’t being eaten away by something totally overwhelming, like our cross-country move last year. This is the first summer that I, alone, am responsible for the well-being and (more importantly) entertainment of my two high-energy children. This is also the very first summer I have feared, and here’s why:

1. The Weather

Welcome to summertime in Houston, where you’re either flooded out or scorching hot—one extreme or the other. And either way, you don’t want to be outside…unless you’re at the pool (have I mentioned that neither of my kids can swim??). So summertime means either sweating through your SPF 80+ sunscreen at the playground all by your lonesome (no one else here is stupid enough to go out in this weather!), or finding something to do indoors, which leads me to #2.

2. The Spending

Houston is one of those cities that’s well equipped with indoor activities for all those hot summer days when you’d be an idiot to try to enjoy yourself outdoors (that’s about half the year, in case you were wondering). However, it’s NOT one of those cities like Washington, DC, where there’s lots of free stuff to keep you occupied. No, a week’s worth of indoor activities in Houston could run you well over $100, and who on earth is budgeting for that?

3. The Boredom

The first words out of my oldest’s mouth each morning are, “What are we doing today?” Heck, I can’t fault her. I’m the same way!

When we travel, I want our vacations to be jam-packed with itineraries that would keep the Obamas on their toes. I don’t even know how to sit still! It’s genetic, so I can’t be annoyed by the presumption that each day will be filled with “something exciting,” as A requests. But the fact of the matter is the stakes are high, and I’m sure to disappoint. And boredom is known to lead to one of my favorite things…

4. The Fighting

I never thought I’d be one of those “Unless someone’s bleeding…” parents, but now might be the time to learn to tune out some of the bickering. Sure, my girls love playing with each other…sometimes. Other days—like when they’ve been in each other’s business for days on end—every little thing is an issue.

She’s touching me.

She’s talking to me.

She won’t give me a turn with this toy that I just ripped out of her hands. 


That’s when I’ve just GOT to get us out of the house and into the car, where we’re all strapped into our seats with nothing to fight over. Now, if only I had a destination…

5. The Classes

I’m not sure if this is a local thing or if we’ve just entered that golden age of extra-curricular activities, but everyone here seems to be signing their kids up for camps and classes this summer. At first, I couldn’t figure out why parents would want to take all the unscheduled time we “get” during summer vacation and fill it right back up, but I’m beginning to understand…

Realizing that I was looking at an entire summer of absolutely nothing structured or scheduled with the girls, I did the unthinkable and signed A up for—get ready for this—a dance class. Despite my reservations and the cost and the commitment, we needed something. 

We (as in me and A and Baby J), we ALL needed something (a few things, actually) scheduled during the week to keep us grounded. So maybe I’m a total sellout; maybe I’m exposing A to a world of body issues prematurely; maybe I’ll totally regret this. BUT, I have to weigh what I might regret against what I know will make us all crazy: sitting at home with nothing to do.

6. The Regression

It’s probably the teacher in me, but I do worry just a teeny little bit about A losing some of what she’s learned while she’s out of school. Summertime regression is a real thing, and I want to keep her mind from turning to mush, like a watermelon left out to rot in the summer sun.

That’s why I’m trying this homeschooling thing for the summer—something I vowed NEVER to do. I’ve been looking up Common Core standards for kindergarteners and coming up with a little curriculum of our own. I’m actually not sure if I’m more afraid of A regressing or me being unable to teach my own child. We’ll see.

So, what scares you about summer vacation? Or, do you just love it?

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Featured image photo credit: view from the beach on Sanibel island via photopin (license)

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4 thoughts on “6 Things that Scare Me About Summer Vacation

  1. Well this list sounds like my life!! We’ve been going to the grocery stores embarrassing often just to get out of the house and soak up some AC! I keep promising myself we’ll do home school more regularly, I think it would help us.

    1. Are the grocery stores one of the few places that have AC? What’s the temperature like this time of year? As humid as Houston, I’d imagine!

  2. I can total relate to points 1-5. Totally!
    But I really dislike your comparison of “the watermelon left out to rot in the Sun”… Kids need to play . Alot! AT this age, they learn through playing!! I know, that today the pressure is high…. But no preschooler will rot like a melon in the Sun just because its summer and school is closed.

    Have a great summer!

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more about kids needing unstructured time to just play! However, I’m of the mind that with kids AND adults, if you’re not expanding your mind by challenging yourself, it’s deteriorating. I’m not interested in pressuring my 4yo, but 30-60 minutes a day of academics, broken into fun, manageable units, is not too much to ask.

      Hope you’ll enjoy your summer, too!

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