Can you believe it is almost July?!
My children have approximately two hours left of school! Two hours people!! They are going in today for the Grade 7 Commencement (and to have the obligatory year end photo with the teacher taken – scrapbooking op anyone?) and then they are off for two whole months!
Wow! Where did that ten months go?
I can’t wait for summer holidays to begin.
I’m sure I’ll be shaking my head and wishing them back to school in a few short weeks, but right now I am looking forward to not having to make lunches, not having to remember to pick them up at 3:00 (1:30 on Wednesdays), and most of all, not having to figure out who is going where with whom to which activity!
Can I get an AMEN to long lazy summer days filled with watermelon, sprinklers, and dirty feet?
But knowing this jubilation will eventually be replaced with “seriously, just go outside and play already!” I needed to come up with a plan. And I think I have one.
It needs a little back story though.
I love to read. Before I could read to myself, my Mum and Dad would read to me. In fact, Dad read to me for ages! I have a particularly fond memory of my Dad reading The Arabian Nights to me when I was probably about twelve. He had a way of bringing those stories to life that is all too rare. I try to put as much interest into the stories I read to my girls because I remember how special it was to be read to.
Anyway, back to my story … I recently found myself out of new, unread books, so I went hunting for old favourites to re-read. (Something I frequently do. I think I’ve read the Harry Potter series all the way through about a dozen times. No word of a lie!) The book Little Women by Louisa May Alcott caught my eye so I started in on it. These books were actually my Mum’s so they are extra special to me.
As I was reading about the innocent lives of the four March sisters in the Nineteenth century, I couldn’t help comparing them to my girls growing up in the Twenty-first century. What a difference! The morals of the story aside, I was struck by how hard they worked around the house. Yes, there was a lot of talk about putting their husbands first and all that which is a sweet ideal but really, who are we kidding. Nowadays I expect my girls’ partners to change diapers, cook dinners, and clean toilets! But that’s years away! In Little Women, Amy March is eleven at the beginning of the story and does a whole lot more to help out around the house than my twelve year old! Plus she can sew her own clothes, knit socks for the soldiers, and many other domesticy things!
So it got me thinking.
Exactly what skills have my girls learned in their short lives?
They can dribble a soccer ball, a basketball and run circles around their opponents on the field hockey pitch, but can they sew on a button or boil an egg?
Maybe the egg. Or at least scramble it!
My eldest can make Kraft Dinner, scrambled eggs, pancakes, and recently made potato pancakes for a school multi-cultural lunch, so I’m confident she won’t starve when she heads off to university. In 6 years! The middle one isn’t too far behind her in the cooking skills but the youngest …. she claims she can’t even pour her own cereal in the morning! Serious case of Princessitis with that one!
I’ve been hearing stories of university professors having to defend the mark they gave a student to the students parents! Um, no! Just no!
It is my job to prepare these girls for adulthood, and while I have days where I don’t particularly want to #adult, I at least know how to! I want them to know how to talk to adults so they can defend their own marks. They need to know how to read a bus/train timetable, and how to read a map. Yes, I know, Siri can always direct them but what if – gasp – there’s no cell reception or they’ve been snap chatting too much and the battery dies? Can they find their way “old school”?
They need to know how to do their own laundry. How to pack a suitcase so their clothes don’t wrinkle. How to iron a pair of trousers.
And so much more!
Which leads me back to my plan for this summer. I want to create a “Mum’s Camp” and teach them some of this stuff!
Maybe. Time will tell.
The idea is still pretty fresh and needs fleshing out but I wanted you to be the first to hear about it. I will share our progress here on my Words on Wednesday posts. I hope you enjoy it. If nothing else, I’m sure it will be worth a good laugh! (No doubt at my expense!)
What skill do you wish you had learned before you left home? Share it in the comments. Maybe I’ll incorporate it into my “lessons’!