Living Columns & Blogs

Busy Mama: Summer of laziness awaits — if we can last 16 more days

Sixteen more days.

Sixteen more lunches to pack.

Sixteen more “hurry up and get your shoes on” pleas.

Sixteen more times of hitting the snooze button once when I’d rather hit it five or six times.

That’s right, 16 more school days.

See, kids and educators aren’t the only ones who count down to the last day of school. Parents can get burned out on it too.

I love school, and I’m very supportive of my kids’ education. But I’m also looking forward to some lazy summer days — emphasis on lazy.

After all, we’ve worked hard this year. Our three kids are in a variety of activities, including Scouts, 4H and baseball.

Our oldest son played football in the fall. Our daughter played two seasons of soccer.

Our evenings and weekends have been booked for months.

I recall having only two or three weekend days all year that weren’t filled with an activity, and I’m pretty sure they were holiday weekends.

Anyway, not only does school go away in 16 days, so do the extracurricular activities. Once again we’ll have a say in our evenings and weekends. No more 8 p.m. bedtimes for the little guys, unless we’ve decided to do something early the next day. No more 6:30 a.m. alarms — well, hopefully not many of them.

No more homework, parent meetings or snack-mom duties.

No more stress. OK, that’s probably going a little too far. Let’s go with less stress and the potential for a lot more fun.

Our summer plans are simple this year. The kids are going to a couple of camps, but we don’t have any major trips planned.

We’ll do some RV camping. It will be in the woods, without sewer, water, high-speed Internet or a swimming pool – and that sounds like roughing it to me.

A few years ago, we spent an entire month tent camping all the way to Wisconsin and back, so we’ve earned our stripes for so-called real camping.

With the RV, we’ll still be enjoying the great outdoors, but our backs won’t need to feel every rock under our sleeping bags, and we won’t need to use an outhouse.

We also plan to spend some time at the ocean — what’s a summer in the Northwest without a trip to the beach? We always have our favorite spots and shops, but this year I’m hoping to change things up a little and take the kids on an excursion aboard the tall ship Lady Washington.

One of the most difficult things for me lately is to not fill up all of that extra time with something. I’ve already caught myself thinking, “I could sign the kids up for a few sessions of advanced swim lessons,” “Free bowling for kids? That would be a cool thing to do once a week” and “Hey, those weekly guitar lessons are tempting.”

But that’s a trap I’ve fallen into too many times.

That’s why I’ve officially deemed it the summer of laziness.

I don’t mean my kids won’t be exercising; I’m sure they’ll spend a lot of time swimming, hiking and playing outdoors. But my goal is to have fewer scheduled activities and a lot more down time.

And it all begins in 16 days.

Lisa Pemberton is one busy mama with three kids. She can be reached at 360-754-5433 or