I've decided that the perfect age to be in the summertime is 14. Kids this age are too young to have serious jobs, but old enough to be independent going to Seven Peaks or over to friends houses on their own. I watch what Nathan does during a typical summer day, and it's way more fun than work. I keep saying that you're only young once, so let them live it up, but it just doesn't seem fair that they actually have SOOO much fun.
Nathan has about an hour of chores a day which isn't nearly enough, frankly. Let's weigh the work vs. fun. One hour vs. eight hours of play. Hmmm. Slacker Mom big time.
Nathan's life consists of playing his guitar with his friends, and practicing a little for his lesson. He has been glued to the Euro soccer cup going on. That takes up about 2 hours a day. Hanging out at friend's houses or having friends to our house takes up another four hours. Texting back and forth about when and where they will all meet takes up another hour. No one seems to be able to make any decisions. "Dude, my Mom's making me tend my sister, I'll call you when I can hang out," is an example of one of them. Another might says, "Dude, my Mom says we can't hang out at my house because we ate all the food last time and she has a headache." That Mom may have been me.
He went on a canyoneering trip with Darren a couple of weeks ago. Some days he sleeps until 10:30. He eats his six meals a day. He wrestles on the floor with his dog. He texts, he reads Harry Potter, he plays games on the Kindle at night in bed. He jumps on the tramp with a hose and four big sweaty friends. Next week he starts summer soccer practices for his team, The Yellow Jackets. He will go on another scout campout and spend a week at the cabin in Montana riding on the slider behind the boat on Lake Hebgen and buying cool pocket knives and leather wallets in West Yellowstone. Cousins are coming in from New York. He will sleep as much as teenagers need to sleep. That thought makes me happy.
His life is idyllic. I want to preserve this innocent time. Time for pure fun and unabashed joy, the kind of fun that adults can never capture no matter how hard they try. I keep telling him this is best time of his life. He agrees. He grins and says, "I love how great my life is." I notice his teeth. They are getting straight, and he is growing taller. I think he is the most adorable thing I have ever seen in my life. I only get him for a little while longer.