They put on the same dresses they wore for the first day for comparison. Here they were in September 2013:
Kate's sleep has been interrupted every night as she processes a few months without her teachers. Although she loves the idea of sleeping in and having a wide-open summer of beaches, pools, and parks, she is mourning heartily the loss of Xiang lao shi and Qiongwei lao shi (her 2 teachers). You can see in the first picture above from this morning that she had just finished crying...but I managed to get smiles by the end!
Unlike most of their friends, I am giving them the summer off from any scheduled activities. No summer school, no camps. Just days full of free play, reading, biking, swimming, and, I'm sure, being bored. Because, frankly, I think being bored is under-rated. Scheduling their days full of activities would not give them the chance to entertain themselves, to dream, to watch an ant makes its way down a leaf, to play in a sprinkler and make mud pies, to choose how they spend their free time. Unfortunately, because everyone has bought into soccer and gymnastics and swimming clubs, their friends are all gone for the summer. The neighborhoods are quiet. It's not how I grew up, and certainly not how I spent my preschool and elementary years. I'm mean, they're FOUR. They're SUPPOSED to be bored some of the time. Sure, I went to 2 weeks of summer camp when I was in middle/high school, but the rest of the summer yawned full and wide, nothing but my imagination and my friends to keep me entertained.
I had this same conversation with another parent as she was telling me how her son was in tae kwon do, soccer, hockey, ice skating and swim lessons. An activity for each day, she was still trying to figure out how to fill their weekends. I asked her why she was enrolling him in so many activities and she said, "Because he's an only child, he wouldn't have any other kids to play with. All of his friends are in classes so we join too. It's killing our bank account but he'll be bored and lonely if we don't take him to all these things."
Seems to me he'll be spending more time in the car than in all of his activities combined. And all that money could be spent on one amazing family vacation for a week or two.