I was shopping at the grocery store the other day when I overheard two moms detailing their children’s summer regimen. Morning was reading  time, each child had four (or more) novels to get through before the end of summer. Then, the children moved on to snack break and chore completion followed by multiplication and division flashcard drills and math packets. After that, if the child deserved it, they were allowed a play date or pool time followed up by family dinner and sports conditioning four times a week.

Both ladies agreed that a scheduled summer was a “fun and productive” summer. And their kids were on the honor roll and travelling sports teams to prove it.

I think I died a little right there in the tuna isle.

Clearly, I am failing my kids. Because let me tell you, we run no such regimen in the Gerlock household. We’re obviously free falling here.

I want to do right by my boys, really I do. What I wonder is… does that mean a more strict Von Trapp kind of existence or one a little more prone to Lost Boys mischief, free of worry and responsibility?

Because it is their summer and they are kids.

I suspect the right answer is that it is a little of both.

One side of me wants to let these boys roam far and wide without care, without responsibility and without restriction. (Because Lord knows when you become an adult, summer isn’t nearly as much fun as when you were a kid.) 

The hard ass in me (yes, there is one) wants them checking off accomplishment lists, reading “x” amount of minutes a day and working with math instructors “x” times a week to keep their skills sharpened. I want them running two miles a day and practicing foot skills and, oh yeah, folding laundry.

Now, I don’t know if it is working mom exhaustion or my devil may care attitude but I gravitate towards the let ’em-have-fun-and-enjoy-it-all action plan.

They stay up late.

And sleep in.

They jump in streams.

And I tend to let them play just one more video game.

We’ve got a mere six weeks left of break. And this is one of the best times of life for them. Who wouldn’t want to be a middle school boy enjoying the freedom of summer break? Bike riding with friends. Lemonade stands. Hunting turtles. Hanging at the pool. Water gun battles…

I’m quite jealous, actually. (Besides, I did all of the real work in digging out that silly turtle. In all fairness, I’m the one who should have gotten the naming rights. But I digress… )

Anyway, I hope I’m doing right by them. I suppose only time will tell.

But just in case, I may dig out the ole division flashcards.