Summer Vacations are here. Just as the vacations are settling in and mom’s have enjoyed the first few days of bliss – getting up a bit late, not worrying about tiffin’s or running for pickup’s , it is time for reality check. And this is when mom’s will start looking for vacation classes, extra-curricular activities or some other ways to keep kids busy.
Like any other mom, I am in the same situation. But that is when I realized, my mom never worried so much about vacation plans. I asked my mom and she confirmed my thoughts. Were things simple back then or were parents okay with their kids not living a structured life?
After talking to mom, as I sat in the swing and looked at my kids who were completely engrossed in TV, I got nostalgic about my summer vacation. We definitely had a lot of fun and never once did our parents worry about what we will be doing.
Summer vacation meant creativity
Every summer we would be given a free hand to come up with creative designs and ideas to utilize the waste in the house. These were practical life-skill activities that are useful even today.
- Our old school uniforms got converted into cushion covers or kerchiefs. We could do cloth painting to decorate.
- Scraps of cloths were converted into coasters and old CD’s were converted into show pieces.
- We saved candy sticks and created pen stands from it or some other decorative article.
- Coloring, paining and mehendi was something that never needed any cajoling.
- We painted diya’s or made from the embroidered door hangings for the upcoming festive season. Of course, I also have a separate post on creative ideas to involve kids in festive season.
Summer vacation meant Playtime
Every summer we could play as much as we wanted. The evenings were spent outside, be it hot or windy! We, me and my sister would be out by 5.30 only to return by 7.30pm. Summer time also meant night badminton on the street in front of our home. Things were simple back then and by 9.30pm vehicular movement would thin out and be a bare minimum. Such thinly populated and small roads were our playgrounds. We could easily play till 10.30pm and come home exhausted.
Summer vacation meant no Power
Summers back then meant no power. I don’t think people knew about inverters or A/C back then in Pune. Power cuts were frequent yet not many cribbed about it. The newspaper became our hand fan and the candles made perfect backdrop for shadow play.
My dad loved to listen to music. Powercuts also meant we could enjoy a round of Antakshari. Story telling was another great pastime during powercuts.
Summers meant catching up on books
With regular school time, we hardly had time to read books. Also the fact that we never had a library period in school meant no books were being made available. So summer meant signing up at the local library and reading! It also meant making puppy faces and getting dad to buy second hand books off the streets on Deccan or buying a new book at the bus station or railway station.
Summer meant going to Native place
Because of dad’s job we stayed far away from both my grannies homes. Summer vacation meant travelling to both the towns and meeting our cousins. Though the travel was tiring and far, we never missed going to both places. We had our share of fun, seeing new places, eating mangoes, reading some more, watching kids movies and devising wild plans. It was a time for sibling love, banter, and crazy memories that we reminisce even today.
In all this, our 2 months of summer vacations just vanished in a jiffy. No summer classes, no co-curricular activities, no special efforts to gain extra skills, yet we had the most memorable of vacations. Are we complicating things for ourselves or our children?
Just as I was deep in thought, my kids came rushing into the balcony with a fresh new fight and it was time for me to initiate peace with some ice-cream!
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