My two boys have been going to Panama (where I was born) since they were 1 year-old. They will always go for 5 to 6 weeks depending on my parents (they stay with them while in Panama), and my plans for the summer. Last summer, it was the first time in 13 years that my oldest son did not go to Panama. He was sad, but taking into consideration the international chaos that COVID 19 created, it was not a choice we made, it was just what needed to happen.
Then came this summer, and although things are “better”, we decided it was better for all that the kids skip another vacation trip to Panama. They would not be able to visit my grandmother and aunts, play with their cousins, or go to the beach, or walk around the city, like they usually do. My parents visited for a longer time during the summer in order to spend time with their grandkids and me, but after two months they returned to Panama.
This was a very special summer for us as parents. We tried to provide the kids with activities that were readily available, at not that much cost, and that focus more on healthy habits. Tennis lessons from the local tennis coach followed by tennis practices in the local tennis court with us. Same with soccer and running which are their favorite activities.
Additionally, we provided educational activities as well. By making a daily educational to-do list which included reading history books, math and writing workbooks, and reading poetry and encyclopedias, every day they had tasks to finish, goals to reach.
We also found out we all loved SURVIVOR (the first time we ever watched this show), and it was fun to catch an episode (or two) right before going to bed. All four of us in one bed betting which tribe will win challenges and who would be eliminated. We took turns picking up movies to watch, which included cartoons, action, sport documentaries, oldies and classics, and TV sitcoms. We all had 2 hours of TV to choose from and we will all watch it together.
School starts in two days, and we are excited. The kids are ready to go back to school, and we are ready to have our hectic routine back. My biggest worry is to start waking up at 4:30 am, instead of the late 6:00 am that I have come accustomed to since the kids got out of school. But I do look forward to seeing them thrive, learn new things, be with their friends, go back to soccer and running practices, and go to bed at night and look at my husband and know that we are extremely tired… but extremely happy as well.
How was your summer? I hope it was fun, unique, diverse, happy, sane, and insane… and the force be with you as our kiddos return to school.