Sunday, May 19, 2013

Summer Plans

Like most young people, Alex is eagerly anticipating summer and planning various activities he wants to do the next three months. Because we have home schooled him for his entire school career, he isn’t really waiting for school to be done; he’s waiting for the end of his parents’ school year when we’ll be done with teaching and freer to take him places. This week, Ed finished his semester of teaching college English, giving final exams and grading final papers, so his summer has already started. However, I still have three more weeks of teaching seventh grade English before I’ll start my summer break. In the meantime, we have been taking Alex to various weekend activities to keep him occupied until summer actually begins.

Every week, I have been checking various local websites listing special events in the community, searching for events that Alex would find interesting. Also, I’m always looking for activities that are free or inexpensive, knowing that Alex could suddenly decide after a few minutes that he wants to leave. Fortunately, we have been able to find a variety of economical weekend events that he has enjoyed. For example, last month we took him to an Earth Day celebration at our county fairgrounds exposition center that featured music and animal exhibits, including one of his favorite animals, turtles. However, the first thing he asked when we got out of the car was, “Will there be food?” Naturally, he was pleased to discover that, indeed, there was food there. A few weeks ago, we took him back to the exposition center for a pet exhibit, where he was able to see lots of cats and dogs. I think his favorite thing about the event, however, was seeing a dog mascot, as pictured below.
Yesterday, we took him to a spring festival at a nearby county park that formerly was a farm. While he was glad to discover that food was being served at this event, too, he seemed to enjoy most watching kids engaged in various activities there. In addition, he was able to watch people flying kites and dogs catching Frisbees, listen to live music, and feed goats, as pictured below. 
Later in the afternoon, I discovered that our favorite local grocery store was having a gluten-free foods sampling event, which I knew he would really like. With several vendors represented, a variety of foods were available for Alex to try that were within his strict gluten-free and casein-free diet. He sampled cinnamon raisin bread, orzo with vegetables, pasta with marinara sauce, turkey lunch meat, and pretzels. In addition, he took home samples of sugar cookies, gingersnaps, and vegetable chips. Needless to say, he thoroughly enjoyed himself since food is a major draw for Alex when it comes to outings.

Even though Alex has enjoyed our weekend outings, he is busily planning things he’d like to do once summer officially begins. So far he has come up with the following list of places he’d like to go this summer: casinos, Cracker Barrel Restaurant, Zao Island (a local arcade/miniature golf course), a hotel, a baseball game, the park, and the county fair. Every day, he also asks us if it’s warm enough to play in the sprinkler, something he likes to do in hot weather. Perhaps the most puzzling suggestion he’s offered is that he wants to go camping. Since we’ve never taken him camping, I’m not sure where he has come up with that idea. Moreover, I’m not a camper, so I’m hoping that taking him to Bass Pro Shop and letting him look at camping equipment will be a satisfactory substitute. As we look forward to the freedom and nice weather summer brings, I am thankful that Alex is coming up with things he would like to do and that he has made such good progress in the past year that we can anticipate fun summer activities as a family.

“But if we look forward to something we don't yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.” Romans 8:25


K. C. Wells said...

He has quite a list! Lottie and Dallas want to camp, too. As camping to me is a three-star hotel, I think I will steal your idea of Bass Pro Shop!!

Anonymous said...

putting up a tent in the backyard, w/ sleeping bags to sleep in, might satisfy.

Pam Byrne said...

My intense dislike of mosquitoes and severe allergy to poison ivy have pretty much ruled out sleeping outdoors anywhere, anytime. ;) K.C., maybe we could leave our three kiddos in a tent at Bass Pro and fulfill their wishes of camping AND Alex's wish to babysit. Thanks for your comments.
Take care,