When you're a child, whether you are adopted, in foster care, or with your original biological family, summer probably means fun in the sun. That is not true for those of us who are foster parents, adoptive parent, or even biological parents. There is certainly a lot of stress and anxiety as we are faced with figuring out what to do with our children during the summer months. State Foster programs vary widely and may not provide the support needed for foster children to attend camps. If you are working outside of the home as well as doing foster care or tending to any children, child care becomes an issue. Planning for summertime activities is daunting. While summer camps are quite popular, they can also be expensive, and certainly have to be picked carefully.
You need to be sure that the interests of your child are taken into consideration along with your financial abilities, along with your own schedule. If you have more than one child, the differences may be such that they can't go to the same camp or even day care. Sometimes they are at that awkward age where you have a 12 or 13 year old child you are comfortable leaving alone, but if you were to leave "her" with her 9 year old brother, there might be blood on the walls when you returned home.
There is no easy answer for how to handle the preparations for summer. Not only can financial concerns be an issue, but there may be health concerns, or counselling concerns, or a myriad of other issues that can come up along the way.
So, what have we done for Shyanne. Well, we have broken the summer up into three parts. The first part is before our trip out to Oregon to see our son Barry. It is only a couple of weeks after school gets out, and that time will be like a miniature vacation. We are even going to spend a weekend up in York Beach, Maine. There is the part of the summer between when we get back from Oregon and my mother comes to visit for the month of August. Then there is the month of August when my mother is visiting with us.
We have signed her up for a number of town recreation programs during the parts of the summer before my mother comes. These are all programs that run between 8 and noon each day. They will keep Shy busy with things that she likes, but also keep parts of every day, and all of the weekend days available for family time together. Whether it be with or without my mother.
I think we have found a good balance of things to keep her busy, and time to have together as a family. We are all looking forward to the summer, which for a Cape Cod family gets started in earnest this weekend. So what do we have planned for this weekend.....well, I am painting the master bedroom on Saturday. but other than that, we should have time together and if the weather holds out, maybe a little walk/picnic on one of the beaches will be the way to go. Or maybe a trip to the beautiful Heritage Gardens will be in order. Maybe one of those on Sunday and the other on Monday. That is one thing about living on the Cape. There is so much to do and so much to see, we should have a wonderful summer.
Good luck to all of you in planning your summer.