As the days grew longer and hotter at the beginning of summer, so did the lists of things to do. There’s the yardwork (the hot weather and long hours of sunlight are evidently a magical formula for weeds), the housework (laundry piles that seem to grow overnight), and the “fun” projects that come with homeownership (in my home, this includes a simple toilet replacement has grown into a multi-month inconvenience).
Meanwhile, if you’re like me and my family, you’re also emerging from your COVID cocoons and tentatively putting feelers out into the wider world. The desire to remain cautious has run headlong into the desire to fill our calendars up with the traditional activities of a Chippewa Valley summer. For my kids, this includes structured activities like summer school classes, youth sports, and music lessons. Then there are the long-awaited community events, from the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series to the Northern Wisconsin State Fair, not to mention family gatherings and spontaneous trips to the beach (as “spontaneous” as they can be considered the packing, prepping, and sunscreen-slathering involved).
All this summer activity can be a recipe for exhaustion – and not just for the parents. I recently observed my 6-year-old almost fall asleep in her bowl of soup after a day full of summer school and piano lessons.
It all can be a recipe for exhaustion – and not just for the parents. I recently observed my 6-year-old almost fall asleep in her bowl of soup after a day full of summer school and piano lessons. As the hottest months of the year arrive, perhaps it’s time to adopt the midday custom of the siesta. Sure, it’s just a fancy way of saying “nap,” but that might make the tradition more acceptable for kids (and grown-ups!) who feel they have outgrown naptime.
Once you’ve awakened – refreshed and renewed – you’ll find plenty of great things to read, consider, and experience in the latest print issue of Chippewa Valley Family (and here on our website) There are stories of cool kids to inspire your family, including a 10-year-old who caught a fish that would qualify for a senior-citizen discount and a teen who’s looking out for pollinators. There are some hot scoops about the cold scoops available at some local ice cream businesses. There are ways to read your way through city parks and melt your way through boxes of crayons. There are pools to be splashed in, playground games of HORSE to be perfected, ropes courses to be climbed, and even journeys to be pursued on the Oregon Trail.
And when you get back, don’t feel guilty about scheduling another siesta.
(Photo at top: Local kiddos slid into summer at the Cinder City Days Carnival in Altoona in June.)