Sunday, August 15, 2010

Play: Having fun like it's our job

When people find out that my husband and I, both high school teachers, don’t work all summer, their responses range from envy to disdain. I understand the impulse to covet this arrangement; however, there are drawbacks. While those last couple of weeks in June are bliss and all of July is fabulous, there is the problem of August.

August is a time of confronting all of my failures for the year, of realizing that the to-do lists that I’ve been compiling since the previous September will likely remain undone. I can get over the lingering house projects –I mean, a little mold in the basement never hurt anyone, right? I can postpone my work plans –I’ve always created curriculum on the fly before. It is the children’s list that I will not allow a peaceful death. In August, we have fun like it’s our job.

August Fun is not the mellow, loosey-goosey fun of June and July that grows organically from long sunny days and weakly enforced bedtimes. August is about mandated, frantic, capital –F Fun. In the spirit of cross-that-off-the list, serious August Fun, we took the kids to the Boston Children’s Museum on Friday night and allowed them to run in the fountains on the Rose Kennedy Greenway (thus satisfying two promises from their list).

As is always the risk of August Fun, there was a casualty.  Our night ended with 6-year-old Big E wet and weepy after she bounded confidently into deceptively still fountain only to be drenched by its eruption and mortified by a burst of laughter from the crowd of onlookers. Little E, our three-year-old, was struck down by the curse of August Fun when we arose at dawn the next morning and marched off to the beach for a breakfast picnic, only to spill her milk and thus, apparently, ruin her entire morning. When we headed to another beach to have dinner and let the kids play on the lifeguard chair (cross it off the list), Big E managed to rub a handful of sand in her eye, thus forcing me to shelve my plan of crossing beachy Christmas card photos off of my list.

Here is the part where I should say that after all this Fun, I’m ready to go back to work, but I won’t….really, who would even believe that?

A note: Fountain incident aside, $1 Friday Nights at the Children's Museum offer an excellent opportunity for the mellow low-stakes sort of fun I plan to return to come September.  It is an excellent deal and worth checking out.


  1. oh my god. I'm laughing, well, I'm laughing at the parts where I should be laughing, and commiserating in other moments. I can feel the frantic pull of end of summer, and we've planned a last minute trip to Storyland because of it.

  2. Please don't mention Storyland in front of my kids. I don't want to have to put it on next summer's list!