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Fall Letter 2012

Dear Parents,

My son wept on his last day of 3rd grade. He loved his teachers, he loved his friends and he didn’t want summer to begin.

Now, he doesn’t want it to end.

Trips to the beach, bike rides, late nights, nature walks, swimming and a few days away as a family made it a lot of fun for everyone. Add to that no homework, no piano lessons, no soccer, plenty of ice cream and a couple of weeks at his favorite grandmother’s house – no wonder he fell in love with summer so quickly.

But as a working mother, I’m ready for school and the structure that comes along with it. Each year, I see how routines generally are good for our family. They help us organize our lives, get things done and teach my son that consistent, hard work pays off.

However, I have to make a conscious effort not to go overboard. If my son is having fun on the playground after school, does it really matter that it’s cutting into piano practice or that we haven’t made it to the library to pick out a book? If he’s up late talking to his grandmother or going for a walk with his dad, I try to remind myself these are moments he will always cherish. I think we have to balance our children’s lives and our own – and sometimes routines, useful as they are, have to be broken.

As a new school year starts, I look forward to a little more structure – a general set time for homework, dinnertime and bedtime. But as long as the important things – behavior, learning and safety – are on track, I’ll allow an occasional, spontaneous late-night walk. After all, I want him to learn it’s important to work hard but also understand that life is to be enjoyed.

Best Wishes,

Linda Ciampa, RN