Monthly Archives: June 2013
(A meandering post on summer, camps and meditation)
You can tell that I’m a child of the 80s and 90s because I used the reference to this song as the title for this blog post.
Some of the parents I know love summer. I have several friends who are teachers who have the summer off and are looking forward to the break, vacations, camping trips, and other fun adventures. For our family, this summer is a transition; in the fall, we will homeschool for first grade. (Not because of test scores, which Alfie Kohn says are just about as high in the U.S. as in other industrialized countries.) Although we will miss so many of our friends in the Malcolm X Elementary school community where my children spent their kindergarten year, we feel like it’s the right choice for us. I have, in fact, been thinking about this article that I read around this time last year and hope that next year ‘school’ will, indeed, be more like summer camp.
But many people feel like summer is a child care nightmare. Kids aren’t in school, and there are literally hundreds of awesome summer camps to choose from (click here for a great list of Bay Area Camps and other activities, as well as a guide to how to choose the right one for your family). Some folks are lucky enough to be able to stay home or have relatives who will be with their children for much of the time.
With all of the options, it can be difficult to find something affordable that our kids will love, that will also provide the necessary amount of child care that so many of us need in order to do work we love, or even just to make ends meet. And even more difficult is remembering the principles that we live by, or want to live by, when we all have so many demands on our time and attention. How do we balance our lives so that we get what we need and so do our children?
I am trying to answer that question in my own life, as are so many of the women and men I see and talk with every day. One of the things I learned from Marshall Rosenberg’s NVC training (Intro to NVC is free on YouTube) is to pay attention to whether my own needs are being met whenever I feel particularly stressed, afraid or overwhelmed. (Check out the book Momfulness, if you get a chance.) Although I am not a Buddhist, nor an atheist, I agree with the atheist Sam Harris on the benefits of a meditation practice. Sometimes I even have a daily meditation practice, to go along with my almost daily yoga stretch practice. This year I participated in one billion rising flash mob, which was a great way to get the blood pumping for a good cause. And at least once a week, no matter how poor I am or feel, I do something significant for someone else that I don’t get paid for that makes the world a better place to live in. This combination–exercise, meditation and meaning–seem to be the key to my life working, when it does.
So I don’t have all the answers, but I do know this. From a review of Momfulness: “Perfection is not the goal, nor is removing the required tasks of motherhood from our lives so we can nurture ourselves. MOMfulness helps parents realize how much joy or healing can take place during our normal daily tasks by just being present in each moment and not judging ourselves, the situation, or our children!”
To help you with your summer fun and centeredness, we have some resources for you. We have a summer camp at San Pablo park, sliding scale, all ages. There will be a Sing Along on Tuesday mornings at the park, as well. Also at the park we will be offering, in conjunction with Melanie Tormos, a sliding scale yoga class where child care will be available with reservation.
Enjoy your summer. Every breath is a gift.
Warmly,Nanci firstname.lastname@example.org For more information about camp, see our Camp Page. For more information about Upcoming Events, see our Events Page. Yoga in the Park information. (coming soon)