Summer is coming, supposedly. We just celebrated Memorial Day and barbeque parties have already begun to fill the suburban landscape. We were supposed to have a heat wave this week in New York (you know three days in a row of 90 degree weather) but that may have to wait for another day. Advertisement fliers for piano, singing and dance lessons have been flooding the snailmail box out front of the house. Flipping through them doesn’t bring screams of joy and glee. Some parents are already gathering to figure out what summer activities they will cast their children into. And, it is all about “casting” as the kids are expected to perform and perform well.
So, what is a New York City mom to do this day and age when kids are the latest trophies to parade about and insert into countless activities? Nothing. My answer is nothing. Well, not nothing. But not everything, either. By this, I mean I will not be placing my 4 year old child in countless activities to fill up his time and take him off of my hands. This summer, his last before kindergarten, he is going to play. He is going to hang out with his childhood friend and frolic in the sun. He is going to run about the house like a madman yelling and singing the theme song to teenage mutant ninja turtle. He is going to learn to ride a bike. He will build sandcastles to only rapidly destroy them. He will help us plant our dream tomato garden. He will go to summer fairs and throw the ball at random targets, probably doing slightly better than Obama did on the Jersey Shore this past week. He will jump in summer-storm rain puddles and go to interactive children museums that so grab his attention that he throws a temper tantrum upon having to leave. He is a four-year old kid, after all.
He will turn five late this summer and that will bring tears of joy along with some Oreo cookies, but no cake as he hates all forms of cake and most sweets. And, that is his prerogative.
This summer, my son will be a four-year old kid lazying about. There will be plenty of time to study, learn and gain new skills that will supposedly land him a spot at a prestigious college 13 years from now. This summer he will be. He will enjoy the state of being and not performing for others’ self-worth. That time will come when we test him over and over again on the definition of 4-syllable SAT vocabulary words. But that time is not now.
Now, if only all those marketers would stop sending me all their brochures and pamphlets.