Ahhhh…the Lazy days of summer… I remember them well. I remember getting up when the mood hit, lounging around until lunch time when finally everyone gets dressed, eats and then jumps on the bikes to go to the neighborhood pool. We’d stay there all day and then when it hit 6PM we knew dad was on the way home, so we’d jump on our bikes and head home for dinner. The pool was open until 9PM so we’d eat and then go back to the pool to hang with our friends.

Remember the days?

Okay, anyone who is talking about being lazy during the summer these days isn’t raising kids. Or, perhaps they’ve rented a beach condo for the whole summer and trust all of the other people in their condo will look after their kids! And I’ve heard so many TV news anchors complain that we’re so lazy that we let our kids stay inside all day and watch video games and TV. They act as if we’re the ones who changed. Perhaps they’re right on some accounts, but not all.

Anyone who is raising kids these days has developed an eagle eye. We watch our kids like a hawk, in the stores, at the pool, and at the beach. No one would dare let their little boy go into a public bathroom anymore.. for fear of some crazy wacko who might be hiding in there to molest some innocent little kid for kicks. These weirdo’s might be hiding out anywhere, and as a mom to a 7 year old, we talk about the seriousness of keeping a very close eye on our kids. You have to know where they are at all times, and who they’re with. Even some of the people you know might be suspect. One of my friends’ daughters isn’t allowed to baby sit for one particular family any more because the father came on to her. She was 15. He was 38.

As a result of the current scary conditions of predators in our midst, the best alternative to kids sitting around at home is to put them in summer camp. Camp used to be just for rich kids, and lots of fun activities like horseback riding, water skiing and free swim time. But now, the camps are mini boot camps for serious athletes. My son has gone to two separate basketball camps and now he’s announced to me that he doesn’t want to play basketball any more. He’s in karate camp now and will receive his next belt by participating all week. That usually takes 2 months of practice 2x a week. I can imagine how difficult it’s going to be for me to get him to go back to karate!!!

I don’t have a judgment as to whether we had it better as kids or whether these kids do. Certainly the children now have more offered to them at an earlier age and they’re able to try many more sports and activities these days than we did. I’m a firm believer that kids should try everything and find something that suits their personalities. Also, then they’ve done it and don’t have a fear about trying it when they’re older. But I don’t think they have enough down time to run around and get into mischief like we did. We have to keep such a close eye on them at all times, that they’re constantly under the gun.

Last week, we visited a college roommate of mine who lives near the beach in north Florida. The kids all romped around their gated community like they owned the place. It was great to know that they were totally protected while we could just relax inside and not have to check in every few minutes. But alas, a gated community is no where to be found in these parts, and it doesn’t quite fit our current lifestyle anyway.

I continue to hunt for that perfect summer routine. I may have to go to Michigan to find it, but one of these days, I’ll be sitting somewhere near a lake or beach, with my child somewhere that I don’t know, and I’ll feel 100% comfortable. I dream of the day!

Until then, it’s 7am wake up calls for 8am summer camps. No more lazy days for us!