The Summer of Pen Spinning

Every day is an adventure around our house. The family is never quite sure what to expect. I tend to think of this as a positive thing as it gives Trina and the kids an opportunity to adapt as their environment changes. They seem to be a little less enthusiastic about the constant changes. One of the primary complaints is that nothing is ever the same around our house. It is always in a state of flux. I took that as a compliment but I was assured it was not meant to be one. On more than one occasion I have been told that just once the family would like to have a normal day. What fun is that? No, if I have my way there will never be a “normal day”.


Not only is graduation over, Trina and the kids are all done with school. Trina finished cleaning up her classroom and has everything put away until school starts next year. Dakota or more importantly Dakota’s teach has survived another school year with the boy. Whitney has completed her middle school phase and is ready to embark on her high school career. That means that today is officially the first day of Summer Vacation. For the next 10 weeks the kids will not be required to get up early or have an assigned time to do home work. They will petition to have their bedtimes extended to take advantage of the summer activities and will try to spend every waking hour of their lives hanging out with friends at the pool. Trina will take this time to get on the children every day to do their chores and will beg them to please try to read or do a few math problems so that it will not be so hard when they return to school. She may as well ask the kids to develop a cure for cancer or build a rocket to launch a man to the moon.
Despite all of the activities and plans that each child has for their summer it is inevitable that at least one of them will utter the phrase, “I’m bored”. The only question is, which child would it be and how much time would transpire before we first hear that phase. I was willing to put money down that it would be Dakota. I thought we would hear him say it sometime around the second week of June. I was absolutely correct in my assessment that it would be Dakota but I was way off from a timing perspective. This morning after 2 hours of playing Wii and watching the Disney Channel he came upstairs and told Trina, “I wish I was still in school. At least then I had something to do.” He completely obliterated my estimate. Trina and I realized we were going to be in for the longest summer in the history of seasons if we didn’t find something for him to do. Trina wanted to go to the teacher supply store and find workbooks for Dakota to do. I was pretty sure that was not what Dakota had in mind so I took it upon myself to find him an alternative to a summer filled with multiplication tables and story problems.
As I was doing some computer research I came across the perfect answer for Dakota’s need for activity: Pen Spinning! What kid would not want to spend the summer perfecting the ability to spin a pen around his hand? I figure if Dakota can devote 4 to 6 hours every day to learning to flip a pen he will return to school with a skill that could significantly change his education. I mean what teacher could possibly flunk a student who can twirl a pen all around their hand? I was so proud of my discovery. I gathered the kids together and stood in front of them and declared this to be “The Summer of Pen Spinning!” The kids all looked at each other and then turned to Trina and asked, “mom, why can’t we ever have a normal day?” This is so messed up!


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