Monday Musings by Melinda M.
I am married to a teacher. I have two school-aged children. So when the middle of May hits, those elements conspire and bring an almost tangible feeling of summer into our home. I can feel the barometer shift right around Mother’s Day, when the pressure of routines, schedules and responsibilities begins to alleviate.
Because my husband is home full-time at this time, I guess I am kind of on vacation too: I can rely on him to take the girls to their appointments, friends and adventures. I can rely on the girls and him to think about, plan and make dinner. And I can hope that a whole bunch of sh*t will get done around the house (someone please clean the screens!).
But it’s the thought of the girls sitting idly at home with their portable technology – meaning they can watch anything from anywhere at anytime – that makes my skin crawl. Sure, we have rules but somehow they get bent (“I’m only using it to listen to music!”). And sure I grew up watching a ton of tv but at some point there was just nothing on (more soap operas?!) and we went outside.
So for the Summer of 2017, here’s what we finally cobbled together to wrest the girls away from their devices:
Kapoho-work-Maui-work-parties: literally straight from the last day of school (May 26), my older daughter was whisked off to Kapoho to lie in the sun, splash in the ponds and make memories with her BFFs at a house one of the families rents this time of year. Now that she’s old enough to work, she will do so and has a few jobs lined up. Then it’s off to Maui for a week of barely supervised, fun-in-the-sun with her gang of 7 cousins. Livin la vida local to da max. Then more work and then, gulp, a few parties before she moves to Italy for her junior year of high school.
Uchinanchu-Tahitian-Mainland-Hawaiian: It’s a summer of culture for my younger one! “Uchinanchu” is the Okinanwan word for Okinawan and this year she’s old enough to be a junior leader at this fantastic, week-long, cultural day camp. Shortly after, she’s off to San Jose to participate in N. America’s largest and best Tahitian competition (http://www.tahitifete.com/)! She’ll stay on in CA for another week with my sister, then turn right around to go to Oahu for a week-long, overnight camp with Kamehameha Schools! KS accepts non-Hawaiians for their summer programs – which is us – teaching them how to restore and monitor ancient fishponds, work in a taro loi, and learn all kinds of oli (chants).
I’m sure there will still be more Netflix than I am comfortable with but I am relieved that they will mostly be on the move, getting outside and learning new things in new ways.