David's Blog | Summer 2010
David's Blog
There is only one success--to be able to spend your life in your own way.-Christopher Morley
Summer 2010
By David
Posted September 5, 2010

And so comes to an end the summer of 2010. Ordinarily, this type of closing statement would come at the end, but here it serves as a starting point for my memories of the summer that was.

Before getting too far, I should really explain that our summers actually begin sometime in June, as the kids' school blasts us with rapid-fire obligations, uh... invitations, to attend various school functions. There was the Good Boy's General Studies play, then the Sweet Sweetheart's Hebrew play, then the Good Boy's Hebrew play, and then the Sweet Sweetheart's General Studies play. They had multiple parts in all of those, and we were there promptly to witness it all live.

Interspersed among the plays were celebrations of my mother's birthday, as well as the Sweet Sweetheart's birthday. Those were enjoyable.

Then, there were two end-of-year parties, one for each child, and two parent gatherings, one for each child's class. We didn't show up for either, if my memory serves me correctly, as we finally drew our line in the sand -- the closest thing to parent rebellion we could muster.

In the meantime, we solidified the children's summer plans. The Good Boy signed up to an "Adventure" Camp, where he was shuttled mostly from one amusement park to another, five days a week. He also was taken to the beach, IMAX movies, bumper-car racing, and the like, and he considers it to be the best summer of his life. Good thing he appreciates it, considering the cost of camp these days exceeds the GDP of a medium-size nation.

Fountainebleu Hotel, Miami, Florida
Fountainebleu Hotel, Miami, Florida

In contrast, the Sweet Sweetheart opted for an indoor, air-conditioned dance camp and happily learned to move to the rhythms of Africa, Bollywood, Jazz, and Hip Hop.

Each day, as the witching hour of 4pm approached, I would join a line of other cars waiting to pick up the Good Boy, while Beautiful Eema would arrive at dance camp to quickly whisk the Sweet Sweetheart to her late-afternoon Karate class.

I was thinking that there must be a joke that starts with "How many publishing company executives does it take to shuttle two grade school kids to their summer activities?"

Well, maybe not, but...

The formula went like this: 2 children + 2 Camps = 2 parents changing their work schedule to provide shuttle services E.V.E.R.Y. D.A.Y. 2X/Day, in the morning and in the afternoon. [Background music, please -- The Eagles, Life in the Fast Lane].

At the same time, we've been particularly busy at work this summer, battling the Great Recession and making the best of a difficult situation. Overall, we will still have an excellent fiscal year, but it's been a pitched battle like never before, and it has taken a certain toll on us.

By the middle of the summer, it occurred to us that despite the action packed schedule, to fulfill our obligation as parents we must provide our children with a change of scenery. I was hoping that a family trip to our local frozen yogurt shop would do the trick, but Beautiful Eema clarified to me that it must involve an airplane ride and a hotel stay. Otherwise, it would not suffice.

Back to the drawing board...

As it turned out, we were able to engineer a trip to the Boca Raton Resort, then the Fountainebleu Hotel in Miami, where we visited with family and great friends. We were able to spend time with one of my sisters and brother, along with their families, and at the same time catch up with some of my oldest and dearest buddies and their families. That aspect of the vacation was absolutely great.

We all enjoyed good food, luxury settings, swimming in hotel pools and the ocean, sightseeing, visiting the Miami Seaquarium, and more. It was amazing to see all the kids play together. They had an instant camaraderie and a common language, just like the parents had with each other. It was very gratifying to see.

We arrived back in LA the weekend before school stated, and within a few days it will be time to, once again, prepare for a month of Jewish holidays and a month of vacation days for the kids. Notice I said "vacation days for the kids," as opposed to "for the parents..."

So, better hold on to your apples and honey. September's gonna be quite a ride.

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