“Vacation is really over”

After two weeks of ‘no camps and ‘no school’ (thus the reason for ‘no blog posts’), my kids finally started the new school year yesterday.  We have one major change in the household this school year–my middle son has moved on to the high school which means I have gone from juggling the start time of 3 different schools to 2 different schools.  I know this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but it is–I smile just thinking about it.  But, not everyone is happy with the new schedule.

This morning, my youngest was enjoying the left over pastries from yesterday’s “Back to School/Birthday Celebration Breakfast” (yes, my youngest has the great fortune of sharing his birthday with the first day of school) when he turned to me and said, “I guess vacation is really over.  Now I eat breakfast alone.”  His sad little face reminded me that not every ‘new beginning’ is filled with excitement and joy–sometimes a new beginning means leaving something we really loved behind.  And, for Jack, that something was having a brief opportunity to share a bowl of  cereal or a bagel with his big brother every school morning.

I can already tell this school year is going to be an emotional challenge and yes, Jack, “vacation is really over.”

But, let’s think about next year’s summer of fun, shall we (I hate ending a post on a sad note)?  This past summer I had great fun working with the amazing team of Banner Day Camp.  If you are unfamiliar with the camp, it is a little piece of kid-fun located in Lake Forest, IL–giving kids the opportunity to pack a whole lot of adventure into one summer.  While the camp ended its 2012 season weeks ago, they are still busy at the campsite gearing up for a great fundraising event being held on Sunday, August 26th.  The Amazing Raise 4 Campers is an opportunity for you and your family to have a fun day at Banner Day Camp–enjoying all that they have to offer (think swimming, bungee trampolines, zip line & food)–while supporting a great cause.  Proceeds from this event will go to the Bradley Schwartz Campership Fund, an organization that helps send children in need to nonprofit overnight camps. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 847-295-4900.  Tickets will also be available at the door.

For additional information, checkout the invite below or CLICK HERE

And while you are looking to have fun during the last weekend of summer, checkout some of my blog friends who spent a summer morning with me enjoying Banner Day Camp with our kids.  They have great stories and information for moms of Chicago!

Tiaras & Tantrums

Toddling Around Chicagoland

Sassy Irish Lassie

“I wish I had crutches”

That quote pretty much sums up our family vacation—a vacation where a sprained ankle during a lacrosse game served as the catalyst for a three-day whine about how we have failed as parents to shower the appropriate attention on each and every one of our children.  Jack was enjoying his time as an ‘only child’.  With his sister in Mexico and his brother hanging out with his team, Jack was living the life he had always dreamed about—a life where he got his own bed in the hotel, had full attention of his Dad while playing in the pool and even got to choose his own snacks for the car trip.  While Jack knew that the bulk of our first two days of vacation would be spent watching Nate and his team on the lacrosse field, he was looking forward to those moments in between games when, as it should be, the world would revolve around Jack.

Then, Nate got hurt.  And, not just the regular cuts and bruises that come from playing a contact sport with sticks, but really hurt.  A severe sprain in his upper ankle put him on crutches and left him out of the rest of the weekend’s games.   Our schedule suddenly changed—a Saturday afternoon at the beach was replaced by finding crutches and icing/elevating a foot and our Sunday evening out became ordering takeout and watching the Olympics from our hotel room.  Yes, it was not the ideal vacation for a 9 year-old boy who began to remind us of his own ankle “injury” that happened just months ago while he was playing basketball in the driveway. “You didn’t do this for me,” he said as he sat on the hotel bed wishing desperately for the sprained ankle and his brother to disappear.  “You just made me come inside and take a break.  I wish I had crutches.”

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence and that statement was never more clear than when a boy who loves sports wishes he had crutches.  We did our best to accommodate Jack’s wish list of activities without making Nate more miserable (sorry, Jack, the climbing of the sand dunes just couldn’t happen) and in the end, we discovered that what Jack really wanted was our time and attention—preferably without him having to sprain a ligament or break a bone.