I’m interrupting my regularly scheduled slog through the 43 Eternal Truths to bring you this update on our family’s summer, which started when the boys got out of school back in May, i.e. about 700 years ago, and to announce the invention of a family summer plan which may or may not get all of us through to September alive and sane.
There’s a woman at work whose kids are about the same age as mine (12 and 14). My office is at one end of the hallway, hers at the other, and when we meet in the middle these days, we talk about how much we hate the summer. We are very unhappy.
This is because there is NOTHING for young teenagers to do in the summer around here unless they are (1) sports fanatics, and even then if you’re lucky you’ll find a one-week sports camp; (2) budding music prodigies who would like to enroll in a campus bassoon or concert pianist camp; (3) farmers; and/or (4) the offspring of wealthy parents who can afford to send them to lovely Native-American sounding overnight camps where they will build campfires, sleep in bunkbeds, jump off piers into beautiful lakes, and learn to kiss other privileged children.
Most adolescents whose parents work are too old or unmotivated to participate in a structured activity, and too young to get a job, and will spend their summers slouching around their homes parked in front of some type of screen, or sitting in the corners of their parents’ offices, looking out of place and resentful. They slowly begin to live their lives from 11:30AM to 11:30PM. They look pale and unkempt, because they don’t go anywhere or do anything, and their behavior starts to take on that slightly off-kilter feel of people who are not used to being around other humans.
Well, after screaming at my sons so many times and so loudly that I start to cough and lose my voice, I have come up with a plan. It’s not an original idea, but an adaption of something my former boss does with his family. We’re calling it The Srajek Summer Institute. I invite you to visit http://srajek.wordpress.com for details, including a handout and a PowerPoint presentation. If you have adolescent children, it just might save your life.