Several months ago, I was feeling like a somewhat neglectful mother because I hadn’t made any real summer plans for my kids, which in modern day Manhattan means lining up at o’dark thirty and plunking down something akin to a year’s tuition at an Ivy League university to enroll Little Henry in a suburban camp with an authentic-sounding Indian name where city kids get to, I don’t know, roll around in real grass and perfect their underwater basket-weaving skills and learn the dirty version of “Kumbayah.” Then, at the risk of sounding overdramatic--as I am sometimes wont to do--I had an epiphany.
My camp-eligible kids are five and three. Most of the “school” (by which I mean preschool and not real, required-by-law school) year we spend in a frenzy of pick-up and drop-off, which doesn’t really leave us time for much else. And suddenly, instead of wallowing in my maternal inadequacies, I started to feel a little relieved and a lot lucky that we had the whole summer stretched out in front of us without a damned thing to do.
My five-year-old son will start kindergarten in September. Right now, he and his three-year-old sister think I’m the cat’s meow and would probably choose running even the most mundane errands with me any day of the week over just about anything else. I am acutely aware that my days as their favorite person in the whole world are numbered—which is sort of what is supposed to happen if I do my job right. It has started to seem incredibly urgent to me that I spend as much time with them while they will still let me and what better backdrop to all our togetherness than New York City?
Hence, the idea for the Summer of Fun 2010 List was hatched.