Time for Transitioning – By Cara Potapshyn Meyers
It’s almost the end of the school year. Summer will officially be here in a week. It is time to get ready for “transitioning.”
To me, “transitioning” means making changes, both good and also a little burdensome. One thing I adore about summer is the longer days. Casual weekends. Less structure. Freedom to just “be.”
It also means a break from the stress of my son’s school and after school schedule. A break from the stress of homework and finding non-threatening ways to encourage getting the homework done. A break from the frantic race to get my son to school on time. A break from the seemingly unending “mundane.”
But with sending our son to day camp come some additional “burdens.” Instead of daily homework will be almost daily laundry. Lots of stain remover. Remembering to pack certain camp items on certain days. Sunscreen, ad nauseum. Bug spray and anti-itch remedies that actually work. And no after camp activities. Perhaps a dunk in our local pool, instead, which certainly is not a burden, especially on wickedly hot days!
I’m not sure I’m quite ready for this transitioning. I AM ready for my son to finish Second Grade. I gladly welcome the break from the insane homework. But I think I need a little vacation between school ending and day camp starting the very next week. The forms that need to be filled out. Medical forms as well. Making sure that I have at least 10 bathing suits because my son needs to take 2 to camp each day. I am desperately hoping that my son will still fit into some of the camp shirts we “accumulated” last year. Otherwise, the one camp shirt they provide for the campers needs to be washed e v e r y s i n g l e d a y.
I also need to transition the trunk of my car. Every summer I restock my first aid kit. I make sure I have plenty of water resistant bags to collect impromptu wet clothing from swimming excursions or water fights at a friend’s house. It also means going through the bag of clothes I keep in my trunk and take out the fall/winter/outgrown clothes and replace them with some summer items, including shoes, crocs and a rain jacket. And towels. You never know when you need extra towels.
Speaking of towels, I have surrendered sending my son to camp with expensive, colorful, monogrammed beach towels. For three years in a row now, I have had these nice towels “taken” from my son, never to be seen again. With my son’s full name monogrammed on them! In BOLD block letters! Two inches in height!! This year the nice beach towels go to the beach or the pool. Instead, my son is going to camp with old, ratty, light color towels with his name boldly printed on each side with a black laundry marker. If anyone wants them, they can have them. They were almost ready to become rags anyway.
Summer also means having to go through my and my son’s summer clothing to see what still fits and what can be given away. It also means filling our closets with the summer wear and putting our bulkier clothing into drawers or other closets. Same with shoes and coats. Right now I have in my closet cashmere sweaters mixed in with sleeveless tops. What’s wrong with this picture? I also buy clothing for my son “off season.” There’s only one problem. I often forget that I bought him certain items at greatly reduced prices, shove them in the “to grow into” drawer, and pull out 3 of the same item come next season. Which is not an entirely a waste because the “doubles” can be used for the car bags come the end of summer.
Finally, there are the “pool bags.” Expired sunscreens and insect repellants need to be tossed and replenished. Goggles and sunglasses for my son need to be checked to make sure they still fit. Various sundries need to be gone through and updated. Even the pool bags need to be inspected for overuse. I almost feel like I have to remember to replenish diaper bags after an outing!
All this transitioning for 10 weeks of summer.