Planning is not my strong suit. I try, but without much luck. I have a stack of beautiful calendars my Dad sends to me that the kids scribble stuff down in but I only seem to find value in as “Canadiana” picture books. (Sorry Dad!) Someone suggested a dry erase wall calendar so up it went and, for awhile, I populated it religiously. My problem is I forget to refer back to the events I painstakingly write down. “Didn’t I have something to do today?” is often a thought that goes through my head just before I gasp in horrified realization that I’ve missed something else, most recently volunteering in my son’s kindergarten classroom.
This planning deficiency extends to my driving as well. I really have no concept of distance or directions and usually find I underestimate a trip without even bothering to devote some time to research and planning. I remember years ago when I got accepted into Air Traffic Control school in Canada, I told my husband over the phone and there was a long silence. “Hello? Are you there?” Finally I heard something. It was laughter. He was laughing so hard at first that nothing was coming out. “What’s so funny?” I asked, shocked at his reaction. “Have you ever driven with yourself?” was his quick retort.
Last year, in the frenzy of summer camp discussions with mothers who were master schedulers, I set out on a quest to find the most enriching experience for my son. He was becoming obsessed with Lego so I did a quick search for Lego camps and found one in Tacoma. It was an all-day, full week intensive program, perfect for my relentless child’s stamina. I quickly signed him up and paid the fee to reserve his spot. Then, I enlisted another mother with a boy who was also into Lego. Now he had a friend with him. I was tremendously pleased with myself and my great plan.
Sharing the information with my husband he asked, “Where’s the camp?” “Tacoma.” “Where in Tacoma?” Long pause. “I don’t know,” I answered uncertainly. It was one of those ‘Oops’ moments, of which I have many, where I realized I probably wasn’t going to like how this turned out. After a long silence he suggested I MapQuest it. That probably would have been a great idea before I paid the money, before I sold the idea to the other mother, and before I offered to carpool as she was working. Yes, the camp was in Tacoma but, despite my years of driving back and forth to Vancouver, I didn’t realize that Tacoma stretched all the way to Federal Way!
Of course I minimized the distance by my common sales pitch, “We live in the middle of nowhere, everything is far!” But I quickly realized on my first leg of the drive to the camp, that an hour and a half, times two, was like driving to the border every day, for the whole week, without actually providing me the benefit of making it all the way “home.” Of course, one of my mottos is, “Never let them see you sweat” so I muddled through without complaining to my husband that the long drive (and all day “milling about”) was a terrible error in judgement. Not to mention the anguish I felt driving away and seeing my little boy waving at the fence of a school I didn’t really know, leaving him with people that I had only just met. To this day I can’t figure out what possessed me to think my five year old son needed a 40 hour week of non-stop Lego. I realized a bit too late that he’s got his whole life to become a “Lego Master.”
As much as I’d love to laze around this summer and take a break from planning and schedules, I know my relentless kids need some structure. But this summer break I’m determined to plan more and drive less. I picked up the long list of summer camps available at Discovery Village and was thrilled to see there are two Lego Camps being offered. My son will be there and I’ll be milling about, but, thankfully, much closer to home. No MapQuest required!
Giveaway Time! Discovery Village and Fun Assembly Required are teaming up to give one lucky reader an admission to one of the Lego Camps they are offering this summer. You have two camps and dates to choose from:
LEGO® Activity Camp Jul 23 – 25 *(3 day camp) or LEGO® Art Camp Aug 6 – 9
(For descriptions visit the website.)
To enter to win this great prize for your budding Lego Master, leave a comment on the blog. For an extra entry, let us know you shared this page! Winner will be drawn Friday, May 11th and announced on Facebook.