Well, we’re a month into the kids’ summer vacation and that means I’ve started 30 straight mornings asking the mirror why kids get a summer vacation.
Why do kids get time off? They’re just going to forget half the stuff they learned during the previous year. They’ll waste at least a month of the new school year relearning what clothes the school bully doesn’t like them to wear. They’ll forget Dad can only pretend to be interested in one art project a day–two projects will exhaust his stock of non-sarcastic compliments. Although I don’t mind them forgetting that Dad always comes to school performances late and leaves extremely early.
I don’t want this summer to be a complete waste from an educational perspective, and that’s why I’m devoting time to teaching them life lessons. I’ve made a list of classic character-building experiences I’d like them to have accomplished by the end of the summer:
Having a pet: So they’ll understand how easy it is to ignore things and be more empathetic to Mom and Dad’s fluctuating levels of attentiveness.
Building a treehouse: So they’ll learn a distrust of government after a city official tears it down for lack of proper permits.
Being left behind: So they’ll learn that our love may be unconditional but our memory isn’t. The responsibility to be memorable lies squarely on their shoulders.
Spending the night in a haunted house: So they learn the awful consequences murder can have on real estate values.
Speaking in public: So they’ll have broad exposure to a range of bored faces and recognize the importance of faking interest in what others are saying.
Violin lessons: So they’ll always have a skill for quickly getting rid of people when they want to be alone.
Saving money to buy something they really wanted: So when their purchase is ultimately disappointing they’ll learn how deceptive advertising can be.