Monday, April 6, 2015

Summer vacation in a new city

Summer vacations are in again and parents for now are as happy as their kids are. It is a time to slowdown a little, little introspection and do something else than rest of the year which is full of curriculums, tests and grades. Summer vacation brings a challenge for parents too, specially where both parents are working, we strongly realise at this time of the year how much the school does for our kids, in terms of keeping them busy, enthusiastic and some times bore them with routined home-works. Summer camps, activity classes, teaming up with other parents, taking leaves, inviting grand parents and other relatives are all important tools to sum up the summer vacation for all parents working or not.

Summer vacation is the time when we need a known community of our kid's friends and their family to fall upon and get some time to enjoy it too.
With a recent relocation to a new city, this summer J and we were little anxious on finding ways around this summer vacation.

Luckily I am working from home at present so that made J happy. Now a days she is also in a mood of 'me time' and so does not show her happiness like she used to as a 5 year old. I need to observe that solemnly when she comes and touch me while I am at work, or asks me if my work is going well.
She is now becoming active online and I find it uncanny if she is being online all the time. I had this when she was getting hooked to TV as a toddler (those were nice and easy days!) and I know both she and I will get over this internet usage also.

Otherwise she has become very sober and does not come to me with her queries at all while I am at work. We have some break times in between for lunch and a quick tea where we talk a little, and I try to propose some activities to her. It is all on mademoiselle to do them or not, or do them the next day or not do them at all. I don't rush her - after all it is vacation time.

This time, like all the sumer vacations we had before, we have decided to read books (as many possible), and not by buying them but from library-this way she is forced out of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson genre and finds other interesting books from the library. Some time she needs to write review on what she has read and what she liked or disliked in those, or write a blog if some idea strikes. Only sometimes though - the whole fun of summer vacation can derail with the steam of over ambitious mommy!

Then this summer there is a golden rule for her to watch one movie a day! sometimes what she wants to watch and sometimes what I want her to watch. She watched Monalisa Smiles one afternoon and upon finishing that she came to me and hugged me. She liked the movie very much and I instantly got more sure that I am raising a friend in her with whom I would be discussing a lot of stuff. We would also agree to disagree at times!

She is bringing a lot of new sounds at home in the form of new music bands which we might have never known if we did not have her. Thanks to you tube, we get to see the videos and music of many new and recent popular bands. She tells us about the band, the equation between the band members and about their fan following. I try to squeeze in Indian instrumental music, Bollywood songs or Bengali Rabindra sangeet in exchange. She minds a lot, who cares!

Web based software applications or our good old MS office suit exercises also comes handy when she gets bored even after all the above activities.

Today morning I realized simple crayons and a piece of paper still can occupy attention of a child at age 11 for quite some time. Only problem here is the exploring minefield of google and its friends who keep hypnotizing kids of this age or any age actually towards them.

After all this, she becomes really sad in the evenings and miss her old friends badly. She talks with them at times but she told me that it does not feel the same, she wants to sit with them and take a walk with them like before. Initially she decided not to make any new friends in this city as she did not want to loose them again. We did not force her anything, but searched for her some activity classes for her to spend some time constructively like arts and sports. Another idea was to help her find friends from these classes. She is not saying much about them and I am waiting when she will come back and say, "Oh I have made a friend today".

J is a shy kid and making friends is always a task for her. During our last move she used to stand in our balcony and see the kids playing for almost 3 weeks. Finally one day she decided to go down and play with them.

The city is new to us so we are using the weekends to discover the city just like we went for short trips during other summer vacations. For us adults also it is still a surreal state of mind where we are settling down to a new place, new work space (for J's papa) or new way of working (for me) and there are times when we sit together and talk about the other city we lived in and what our friends might be doing now.

We make plans of going back to them, to visit them and return to the certainty of a known place and its roads. Although we know that the trip would be just for a visit to the city we lived, the city we made our home in.

No comments:

Post a Comment