What we did this summer

Remember the first day of school when the teacher would ask you to write about what you did over the summer?    One year, it may have been when I started first or second grade, I wrote about finding a nest of baby rattlesnakes in our yard and raising them….

My teacher commented that I had a very ‘active imagination’.

Today was the first day of school for kids attending public schools here in the city.  The unofficial end of summer.   Some of them were probably asked to write or talk about what they did over the break.  I’m sure the answers ranged from going to camp or going on a trip to visiting relatives, spending time at the pool or in playground sprinklers, etc.

We did all those things too, of course.  (Well, except for camp.)   But it wasn’t a break – it was regular life.   Today was no different than any other in our house, except that Maya and Ben could use their student Metrocards.  (My wallet breathes a sigh of relief.)   It’s amazing how much more I spend in July & August on subway travel; student Metrocards give each child 3 free rides a day.  Why 3?   We don’t know.  It seems a more logical number would be 4, because that would equal two round trips, but three is better than nothing.   Unfortunately, the cards run on the school year calendar.  If it weren’t for the Metrocards and sudden lack of children in playgrounds, we might forget about the first day of school altogether.   Oh, except for the added fact that practically every person who steps into the elevator with us asks how school was, or if school started.   Which drives my kids crazy.  On Tuesday three different people asked us if school had started.    Maya later pointed out that if she were in school and school had started, she would not have been riding in the elevator in the middle of the day.   That’s my girl.

But in the time-honored if somewhat stagnant tradition of relating what one did over the summer, here goes:

Maya read 18 books.  (She say she’s shooting for 20 by the true end of summer later this month.)   Ben read 10.

We visited my family in Indiana and spent almost every day there at the public pool.

We hung out with friends at the playgrounds around the city, made two trips upstate to a waterpark and one trip to Brighton Beach.

We saw Harry Potter 7 Part 2.   And Cowboys & Aliens.   And The Help.

The kids had overnights with friends, made videos and were disappointed by Hurricane Irene.

They both continued Spanish lessons.

We woke up when we wanted, ate when and what we wanted,  and with a few exceptions did just about what we wanted every day.

Not a bad summer.  Not a bad life.  Even without the rattlesnakes.

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