We joined Hale Reservation Beach for the summer, benefiting from their financial aid program. They have a wonderful setup, just 10 miles from our house: lake, lifeguard beach, nature preserve, playground, kayaks, swimming lessons. Membership gained us access to all this and more. I’d been thinking that we’d go every day, the kids would take classes (swimming especially) and I would read the New York Times while they played. Real world, not so much. Akiva was into swimming classes until he got good enough to say he could swim. Gideon did not go to a single swimming class. Never let go of my hand the few times I took him. Neither of them was interested in the other offerings — not nature walks, not crafts, not boating. The first part of the summer, I insisted on going every day, weather permitting. I wanted to get our money’s worth. The first part of the summer, we did not have a good time. Eventually I realized getting our money’s worth was not worth having a miserable summer.
Once I let go of the beach idea, we became footloose and therefore much more at peace. I aim to get us out of the house each day but no longer feel like it has to happen on schedule.
The kids and I have since been having great times at Ima Day Camp, year 3. It took a while to find our groove, but now we’ve got it. It helps that they are able to entertain themselves and each other much more than last year. Akiva has been reading like a crazy, mad fiend, and Gideon is often content to play with his trucks or ride his tricycle. I am grateful we live in a neighborhood where they can safely go outside together and ride bikes in the driveway or play in their garden (actually just a patch of dirt, which distinguishes it from my garden how??) or goof around with the next-door neighbor kids. We’ve also been taking some outings — the Discovery Museums (with help from the Newton Library’s discount pass), Garden in the Woods, various libraries and parks, and of course the farm.
Thursday is farm day, and it’s become a joyous tradition. In addition to collecting our farm share at the tent (which Bill earns for us by working at the farm on Friday mornings), we often have the pleasure of picking a component of the share from the fields. After we’ve got our goodies, the boys start sampling. Tomatoes, carrots, kale, radishes, beets. They’ll taste just about anything. There’s a tree swing across the way and we take turns pushing each other and riding butterfly-style. If the weather is grotty, we go across the street to the Weston Library and read-slash-hoard books. Eventually we head home, and I cook some of what we gathered. It is bliss.
I guess we are beach dropouts.