Some mark the beginning of summer on Memorial Day Weekend. Strict followers of the calendar claim that summer is still eight days off. But yesterday was the last day of school, so today is the first day of the FitzFacts summer.
The last few weeks of school were an anxious countdown of special events, field days, and field trips, and more projects than seemed possible to complete in so short a time span. I swear I spent more time at my kids' school last month than my parents spent in my entire family's tenure of Catholic grammar school, and there were eight of us. Okay, maybe that's a stretch, but now that the neverending festival of picnics, plays, concerts, and parties is past, we have arrived at childhood nirvana.
So what's on tap for the next 11 glorious weeks, which will fly past and find us standing at the schoolbus stop with kids in fresh haircuts and new clothes before we know it? Well, so far, it's looking like a lot of cartoons and swim team. A family week at the beach lurks in the near future, and a few weeks at day camp, with the rope swing, the mud slide, the archery, the arts and crafts and the daily Bible reading (more on that later, perhaps). Then there is basketball camp, highlighted by the chance to meet local basketball hero Juan Dixon.
Finally there is the annual Fitzgerald family pilgrimage to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, an august August tradition of 35 years that brings more than 20 adults, children and dogs together for five wonderful days of nostalgic reminisce. Unfortunately, we stay for seven days. When friends of ours hear about this trip, they always ask, "Do the children get along?" The kids get along fine, it's the adults that are at war by the end of the week. Okay, not war, but there's nothing like the potent combination of sunburn and close quarters to fray the nerves and eventually summon forth the entombed demons of every family's cultural history. I wouldn't miss this trip for anything.
In addition to the scheduled activities, there are museums, monuments, zoos and amusement parks to be visited. This will be the summer of the first family bike outing and there is a rumor of piano lessons. And every day, the dog must be walked early, the vegetable garden tended, and then there is blogging.