We didn't have much of a vacation this summer for various reasons. Reason no. 1 was because my husband had a lot on his plate at the office and couldn't just walk out. Reason no. 2 was the real reason though. My six year old son Nitin was denied promotion to Class 1 in April, although the head agreed to give him another chance after the summer vacations closed in July. So we were grounded in the summer while I tausome school stuff every day in the summer.
But hey, we have four kids and they all needed a diversion. Summer is the time for new experiences and a complete change. Mel my daughter, 13, moaned incessantly about the fact that when she returned to school post-vacation, she wouldn't feel fresh and rested. The others joined in in agreement. I was at a loose end for a while, wondering what to do.
I had to get creative. If there is one thing that there is plenty of in my area, it is parks. I went out and purchased lots of bats, balls and footballs. I made sure that the kids did not miss their daily session in the local park, and in a hot location like north India, that can only be in the early morning or in the evening, when the weather is cooler. So what do you do during those hot hours indoors, staying close to the fans and out of the sun? Yes, you play board games, that's what. Keep the television off and switch it on as a last resort. We don't want our kids turning into couch potatoes now, do we? Internet access? Well, yes, but kept within reasonable limits.
I remember complaining on Facebook one day that I was trying to get my kids into reading but the only book they like is Facebook and there was sympathetic agreement fom other mothers on my Facebook friends' list. But somehow, they read a couple of books between them. There's a board game here in India called carrom, which featur!es 'carrom men' (like draughts men) and I remember struggling home in a rickshaw with a brand new carrom board one day. It was worth it, though, the kids loved it.
I had to take the kids out now and then. Luckily there is one of these huge mall cum cinemas within walking distance and one month apart, I took them to see the latest 'Shrek' and 'Toy Story' episodes. Everyone loves going to the movies and enjoying the whole experience, including the popcorn and my kids and I are no exception. It is not necessary to go out to have the 'going out' experience either. We occasionally skipped lunch and had pizza delivery instead.
All too soon the summer came to an end, but there were no tears at the end of the vacations. The children enjoyed every moment and they felt they'd had a good change. All the same, their father is under orders to take a vacation next summer so that we can enjoy a family holiday together!
This post was inspired by this week's Writer’s Workshop at Mama’s Losin’ It. I looked at the current week’s prompts and got inspired by the fourth prompt, 'Who needs a vacation when you can spend your summer doing this?' Hence the post.
This post originally appeared on Write Away at WordPress on 19/8/2010