So, I realize we're oh, about 3 whole days into the boys' Summer Break, but already I can see some patterns emerging. In years past, the daily agenda has gone something like this: after first having spent some quality "waking up time" goofing around on their phones, they emerge from their lairs--um "bedrooms"--around 9:00 for breakfast. They eat in front of the TV, catching up on the highlights ESPN has to offer from the previous night's sporting events. A short while later, they head outdoors for their first activity of the day, be it throwing a baseball, shooting hoops, or tossing a lacrosse ball around. They retreat back inside to cool off eventually, and hang out for a while before lunch. The post-noon-meal slot is typically devoted to video games in the Bonus Room, followed by a snack. (If it seems like they carve out time to frequently raid the kitchen...yep, that's absolutely true...). Finally they spend another several hours or so outside again, doing...energetic guy stuff...before dinner and hitting the showers.
Yeeeaaaah...it's not gonna go down quite like that this Summer. First of all, of course, is Riley's broken leg. The whole "run around outside every time I'm the slightest bit bored" thing that he tends to do? Not an option right now. Fortunately, he's a kid who LOVES to read, so he can occupy himself with books for hours at a time. And in an effort to enhance the variety of his...entertainment?...we've taken to offering him excuses to get the heck out of the house. "Hey, buddy, wanna go to Target?" I asked this morning. "Oh, sure!" he replied enthusiastically. Uh-huh...he must be desperate. Therefore, part of the New Routine has been to--rather than my standard procedure of combining errands in the interest of efficiency--space them out so that we can take the crutched one for his airing every day.
Which incidentally helps us to accomplish another Very Important Goal of June and July: Earning. Derek's. License. You see, he's had his permit for nearly a year, which means theoretically he could take his test soon....if it weren't for those pesky 60 HOURS of practice he needs to accumulate first. "Well, how many does he have?" you might wonder. Around...20. Honestly, during the academic year, between soccer and homework he just didn't have much spare time to devote to driving--and none of us was all that pressed about it. But when both of our soccer players were selected this Spring for traveling teams for the first time, Husband and I caught a glimpse of the future...and it could perhaps best be titled "too many practices, too few chauffeurs". The teenager reeealllly needs to be able to take some of the burden--at least for running himself around--by the time official workouts begin for everyone in August.
Thus we have very special Mother/Son Bonding Experiences like...journeying to Costco together. (Little brother got to stay home for that one, since we figured clomping around the warehouse wouldn't be all that amusing, free samples notwithstanding....) When he first started his behind-the-wheel training, Derek navigated...hmmm, how shall I put this?...kind of like a little old lady. Nice and slow. Super-cautious. Tentative, even. However, now that he's gained some confidence, I noticed he appears to be developing a bit of a....lead foot. (Hey, Pot, it's Kettle! Shhhhhhhhh!!!! Just go with it, 'kay?) So yesterday's excursion involved a smidge more lecturing than has previously been necessary, mostly to the tune of "You know, the speed limit's 35, here. And I have seen speed traps set up on occasion. Plus, keep in mind--as expensive as your insurance is already going to be--if you get a ticket, you can forget about getting back into the car until you, yourself, can pay it off." (So, yeah, THAT was a fun conversation...)
And that just about sums up the season's aspirations for Team WestEnders: keep Riley happily occupied, and fill in Derek's Driving Log...one shopping trip at a time. Speaking of which, a brilliant thought just struck me! Maybe tomorrow we can arrange a lovely jaunt to Dunkin' Donuts--Derek can be the pilot...Riley escapes the house....I get coffee (mmmmm)...the boys get treats...EVERYONE WINS! (Yessssss...)