A long, hot summer

cartwheel_c-425x282When I was growing up, summer was an endless stretch of nothingness. There were no reading lists or science camps or enrichment activities. There was barely even adult supervision. We were like a pack of wild dogs tearing through the neighborhood, entertaining ourselves by running through the neighbor’s sprinkler or hanging upside-down from a tree or eating hot dogs straight from the can. We got in mud fights and plucked fat, juicy ticks off our dog and squashed them with bricks. I know, disgusting. Boredom makes you do strange things, but that’s my point. We were bored to death

Fast-forward to now. My daughter’s summer vacation spanned two continents and garnered her 10,000 flight miles. She biked through Dutch fields and camped in the Appalachians and swam in the North Sea and the Atlantic. And she had exactly one free day at home. ONE.

Of course she wasn’t bored. She didn’t have time to be.

Back in my day, the first day of school was something to look forward to, a break from three straight months of lethargy. Not anymore. My daughter was exhausted before she even began.

Sure, she got to travel to fun, faraway, exotic places, but am I doing her any favors? Will she ever be able to entertain herself without a camp counselor, a tour guide, and an in-flight movie screen? I sure as heck hope so.

What do you think? Who had the better summer, me or my kids?


About Kimberly S. Belle

Kimberly Belle grew up in Eastern Tennessee, in a small town nestled in the foothills of the Appalachians. A graduate of Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, Kimberly lived for over a decade in the Netherlands and has worked in marketing and fundraising for various nonprofits. She's the author of two novels, THE LAST BREATH and THE ONES WE TRUST (August 2015). She divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam. Keep up with Kimberly on Facebook (www.facebook.com/KimberlyBelleBooks), Twitter (@KimberlySBelle), or via her website at www.kimberlybellebooks.com.

Posted on August 16, 2013, in Blog Posts. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. It is so true, Kimberlee. My kids were too busy to get bored and when you’re bored, the best things happen. We used to take old sheets and tie them from the rafters of our crawlspace to create a giant fort. We used to explore outside and make up games. Our kids don’t know how to entertain themselves. Hands down, I think we had the better summers.

  2. My kids didn’t have the experiences your daughter did but they really do have to be go, go, going all the freaking time and I find it irritating. Do they know how to do nothing? Do they know how to stop the train and get off for a little while? They’re pretty much both past the point of me doing much about it (19 and 14) but right now we’re on our week summer vacation and they’re really doing different things like golfing and NOT watching television so at least they’re experiencing something different than their normal “connectivity” to the internet, etc…

  3. I worked outside of the home full time, so my boys were subject to their babysitter’s ambition to get out and do something. One summer, I came home from work and they started to fill me in on the latest happenings on one of the local soap operas. Yep, I got rid of that babysitter and found someone who would take them out so they could play. 🙂

  4. Oh, I don’t know…traipsing across continents sounds pretty good to me! Of course, summer camp was a heck of a lot of fun, too. 🙂

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