Articles by "Shannon, Author at Quirks & Recreation - Page 2 of 28"
21 Jun
2017
Posted in: parenting
By    Comments Off on Adjusting to a Different Summer

Adjusting to a Different Summer

I miss preschoolers.

Maybe I don’t miss everything about having young children, but parenting a teen and a tween this summer has me nostalgic for truly lazy days of summer.

boy swimming laps during swim lessons

I was prepared for life to change when our oldest entered high school. He’s active and involved. I knew certain things, like sports, would require more time. He hit the ground running this summer and his commitment motivated our 7th grader to start his own training program. By 9:45 a.m. this morning, our oldest had been dropped off and picked up from football speed and strength training. Our 12-year-old and I had run through his middle distance training for the day, and I was sitting at swim lessons with our youngest two. Our schedule isn’t nearly as bad as some other families. It seems we’re attempting to one-up each other with our level of busyness. I most definitely want to lose that game.

teenager crossng a river on a log bridge

Long gone are the days of sleeping in with my young children who actually enjoyed sleep. There’s no more nap time, except when mom sets the timer for 20 minutes of self-imposed mom rest time. I miss the repetitiveness of wooden puzzles, block towers, finger paint and racing Hot Wheels. I remember thinking the monotony of those days would do me in and now I long for that slower pace.

My current state is our fault. We wanted the children to find things they enjoyed and participate. Be involved we told them. That’s at least one thing they listened to me say. There are things we do say no to, and the kids would gladly list the requests that have been nixed. We’re choosy. They still need to have family time and time not dictated by a schedule. There’s time during the day for us to do as we please, but even that is exhausting with big kids. They want to hike, swim and explore. Their legs can carry them miles and miles over rough terrain. A hike on the local parkway path is no longer sufficient for their adventuresome spirits. I love it, but I’m tired. It seemed not too long ago it was me dragging them to places to get out of the house and now it’s them prodding me along.

brothers playing at a Wyoming state park

I don’t remember summer holding many extracurricular activities as a child. The list of camps is extensive in our area. There is, quite literally, a camp for everything. This summer is an adjustment period for us as we settle into the realm of high school. Fall sports begin early in August. Next year will maybe bring a summer job into the mix.

I’ve been warned by more-seasoned parents that if I think the junior high years went quickly, high school will take my breath away. I’m glad we chose years ago to have experiences instead of continually waiting for the kids to be older. Older came fast, and now that we have older kids, our time seems in short supply. I remember when the kids were much younger wondering if the day would ever be over. Now I check the clock and wish there was a way to add more time.


 
Fighting Through Travel Anxiety
By     |    Jun 16, 2017
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Fighting Through Travel Anxiety

I’m at the point in vacation planning where I think it’s best to cancel our plans. This happens every time we travel, whether we’ll be gone for five days or three weeks. I’m overwhelmed by the planning process and dreading the packing. My anxiety has me worrying about everything from flat tires to lost hotel reservations to vomiting children to terrorists and everything in between. I can’t even think about the crowds of people and lines we’ll encounter. We’ll stay... [Read More]

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To Teachers Who Stand in the Gap
By     |    Jun 5, 2017
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To Teachers Who Stand in the Gap

Saturday night my social media feed exploded with news of an armed standoff and car chase on the Interstate highway through our town. The road was closed by request of law enforcement. All on- and off-ramps were blocked by armed law enforcement with lights blazing on their vehicles — and our son was on a school bus traveling that highway attempting to make it home from a long day in another state. It was after midnight when our teen called... [Read More]

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Five Favorite Family Vacation Destinations
By     |    May 25, 2017
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Five Favorite Family Vacation Destinations

My list of places to vacation is extensive while the allotted vacation days are finite. I like picking the brains of fellow travelers for tips on destinations we have planned and will talk your ear off if you venture to ask for ideas of places to visit. This is the time of year I’m asked quite often for vacation ideas. Most of my suggestions are for outdoor lovers and those who don’t have a fortune to spend on vacation. We’ve... [Read More]

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No Ugly Crying for Me
By     |    May 22, 2017
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No Ugly Crying for Me

Warning: I’ve become a spontaneous crier. In fairness to myself, I’ve always been a crier, but lately, my tears seemingly flow on a daily basis. I can’t keep them at bay and really have stopped trying. I’ve promised our children I’ll stop myself before I’m at the ugly cry level, but that’s as much as I can pinkie swear about. Thankfully, the tears are happy(ish) for the most part. We’re finishing up another school year, my ninth as a mom,... [Read More]

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By     |    May 18, 2017
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How to Not Take a Compliment

It seems I have at least one child who hasn’t a clue on how to take a compliment. I was surrounded by 6th graders at a presentation and heard eight different children qualify compliments they were given. A simple, “You’re painting was lovely,” was met with “Thanks, but it’s trash.” Or “I didn’t work hard enough.” Or “There are better ones.” Not one of the eight children replied with a simple thank you. Even my son replied back to a... [Read More]

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Big Push to Finish School Year
By     |    May 4, 2017
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Big Push to Finish School Year

The month of May is one of my favorite and least favorite months. Summer is right around the corner and the weather is improving. There are 22 days of school remaining and 50 days until we enjoy another much-anticipated epic vacation. But May is also the month when everyone has everything on every day…all month long. It’s inevitable with four children that our evenings will be full of recitals, concerts, track meets and practices. It’s never one thing at a... [Read More]

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For the Love of Humanities
By     |    Apr 27, 2017
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For the Love of Humanities

It was evident early in our parenting journey that our children had an affinity toward sports. They enjoyed playing anything we exposed them to and watching sports was a family activity we rallied around. As a former sports reporter, having children who enjoyed something I loved was an easy way to connect. Early on we decided, as parents, that our children would be exposed to a wide array of experiences. We didn’t want their childhood to solely revolve around fields... [Read More]

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Read Between the Lines
By     |    Apr 17, 2017
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Read Between the Lines

I sat at my aunt’s kitchen table surrounded by various members of my extended family attempting to write my grandpa’s obituary. I started with the bookend dates of his 88 years of life and filled in the years he served in the U.S. Navy and the decades he worked. There’s his wedding and number of children. There are the countless organizations he belonged to giving a glimpse at what he believed was important. I’m rarely at a loss for words... [Read More]

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That Time I Danced in a Competition
By     |    Apr 11, 2017
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That Time I Danced in a Competition

I collapsed under friendly peer pressure and danced in a Spotlight Dance Cup Regional competition last weekend…on a stage…with an audience and judges. Gulp. It all started last summer when I took an adult ballet class to better understand my daughter and her passion for dance. I heard rumors that our studio director wanted to do a moms and dads dance for this season. Not happening. I enjoyed class but was not going on stage. I repeat, I was not... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Badlands National Park
By     |    Apr 3, 2017
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Take a Trip: Badlands National Park

We visited Badlands National Park for the fourth time this weekend. After several friends mentioned not knowing about the park, which is four hours from our home, I thought it needed some love. Our first three visits to the park were in the summer months when it’s crowded and hot. A spring visit was much more to our liking. There were no crowds. We didn’t have to circle around for a parking spot at the visitor center or any trailhead.... [Read More]

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Joy in a Staycation
By     |    Mar 27, 2017
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Joy in a Staycation

My preference is to leave town whenever possible. I like to explore and discover new places. We’re on a staycation this spring break, and I was dreading it. I longed to spend our five school-free weekdays somewhere other than here. We’re stockpiling vacation days for an upcoming summer road trip, so home is where we are for the week. Technically we have small getaways planned for the weekends buffering spring break week and a small excursion mid-week. We’re only partially on... [Read More]

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