Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Summer plans

OK, I promised you some big announcements, and lest I be called a tease, I better make with the news! First of all, the smallest of the three announcements: I have summer figured out.

To recap, Munchkin wants to get a job at the beach this summer, and I would really like her to be able to do that. The complicating factor is that it requires her to live at the beach the whole time, and I can't live there with her. Through some schedule coordination and some changing of plans, though, it looks like it is going to work out.

The real solution is actually her brother. My ambivalence towards him is pretty well documented, but I would never doubt his love for his sister, and he really came through on this one. Originally, he was going to come here for a week in August and then she was going to go there for a week with him.

When I laid out the situation for him, though, he quickly offered to change his plans. New plan: he and his wife and the baby are going to come and spend two weeks in June with Munchkin at the beach. That way I can feel like she is not just hanging out with randoms, and it makes it that pretty much the whole summer is "covered" by someone that is an appropriate enough supervisor (Me, Smoking Hot Roommate, Big Sis and Papa Bear mostly).

Obviously, a two week vacation at the beach house is a pretty nice treat, but this is still kind of a big imposition on him. He is pretty much using up all of his vacation time for the year to do this, and since his wife works part time, she doesn't get paid for any days that she takes off. It will also be the baby's first trip, and a long time to be totally away from home for all of them. So, I really appreciate his willingness to do this, and I know that Munchkin does as well. He is definitely on my good side for a while:-)

And that allows Munchkin to move to the beach for the whole summer. That will be an adjustment for me and for her (more for me...lol) since I will go weeks at a time where I only see her Friday-Sunday when I am down there. There is even one weekend that I won't be there, so I will go almost two weeks without seeing her at all. I am sure it won't be a big deal, but I will just have to make extra sure to talk to her a lot and spend time with her when I am there and make sure I know what is going on with her.

I recognize that this is far from an ideal situation from a child-raising standpoint...she will stay put all summer, but her authority figure will rotate on a weekly basis depending on who is there and who isn't. My readers that have kids around that age are probably shaking in horror at the thought of their kids having that kind of freedom for that much time. I am pretty sure there is no precedent for this, and it certainly doesn't pass the muster of the parenting police.

But let's be honest, the "traditional" ship sailed a long time ago on this one...lol. She is already a very responsible manager of way more freedom that girls her age usually get: she has no bed time and I never wake her up if she doesn't have to get up for something, I don't check on her homework unless she asks for help, I don't monitor her communications with her friends, and I just basically trust her to be a really responsible kid.

And until she gives me some reason not to, I will continue to give her that kind of freedom. She has missed a grand total of 2 homework assignments in nearly four years of school since she came here. She is first in her class and has a grand total of ONE grade below A...she has clearly demonstrated that she understands priorities and responsibilities, and I don't see where I shouldn't let her continue to have that sort of leeway to manage her own priorities.

So, am I worried about the summer? Sure...a little bit. She will need to manage her work schedule and she will have a lot more free time than she does during the school year. It is entirely possible that I end up being there more than I currently say I will;-). But in the end, she has earned the right to spend her summer how she wants to...and if she wants to live at the beach and get a job? Well, then so be it...


laurwilk said...

You? A tease? Haha! :)

I think this plan sounds fine and while I am a much stricter big sister than you are, I think Munchkin will be a-okay. (As long as Frenchie isn't around at least!)

Where is she getting a job? I want to live vicariously through her because I seriously miss my 13/14 summer! I had a boat called Miss Piggy and hung out at the coffee shop where I worked with cute tourist boys who were in town for a week with family and loved hanging out with locals. I was livin' the dream, I tell ya!

Lori S-C said...

good job on putting things together for Munchkin's schedule...
She is a fortunate girl to have so many people to care about her...

Still just me said...

Nothing at all wrong with this plan. She will be around responsible adults, and she is a responsible girl.

I was able to raise my oldest daughter the same way- didn't have to worry about school work, "bad" friends or curfews.

Each kid is different!