Monday, August 08, 2011

Surviving Summer

When I was kid, summer was magical. It was a time when teachers had lost their controlling grip and my parents cared little for my whereabouts or even showed much concern for my bedtime. Summer for me was long days spent by the pool and the familiar smell of my fathers BBQ. I recall birthday parties, long bike rides with friends and a total freedom that was unparalleled for any other time of the year. In short my parents let me loose on the world and required little of me. The exception was being home for supper and bed, unless of course I could find a willing friend to shelter me for the night.

Summer was awesome.

None of these memories come close to the last nine weeks of parental bliss that we have endured at the mercy of a hyperactive five year and a stubborn seven year old stuck in the rut of summertime blues. My eldest daughter was born with Down Syndrome. As such our lives tend to play out a little differently than we had planned. Since the seven year old cannot talk yet, and is still a bit unsteady on her feet, outings are a bit of a struggle. It is near impossible to even go to supermarket alone, let alone for a walk or even to the park. So while I'm at work Patricia tries to get through summer.

I presume my parents felt the same way during summer. A couple of kid loafing around the house for three months with nothing to do. I don't recall any issue, but again I had a sibling and we did a pretty good job of keeping each other busy. Either by spending time in the pool, inventing concoctions in the kitchen or exploring the backyard with the imagination of child. Hannah doesn't have a playmate. In fact Alexis would rather whack her sister on the head with whatever large implement she could find than play anything with her.

In Alexis's defense, after 9 weeks of non-stop Hannah, she might be justified.

We did manage to get in a good number of summer fun activities, including a family day out to an amusement park. We went down to Gilroy Gardens, which is about 3 hours away from us. It was a blast. The youngest ran around and went on rides until the parked forced us out the door! We rode roller coasters, drove fake cars and waited in line for hours with plenty of thread worn parents. It was a hoot and everyone seems to have a genuinely good time. Even Patricia and I.

The next morning while sitting at the breakfast table Hannah asked, "Where are we going today?!!"

One more week till school starts, one more week till school starts....

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