School Days

We have been camping with my son since he was 9 months old. We were living in Montana amid many beautiful camping spots including Glacier NP. We typically went camping every other weekend all summer long and as far into autumn as the weather would allow.
Once we moved to Tucson we realized we didn’t have to winterize the trailer and we went camping about once a month year around. Loved escaping the heat and exploring different pieces of the state.  Arizona is very diverse with mountains and plains as well as deserts.
My son went to half day kindergarten so we were still able to leave on Fridays for long weekends. But when he started full day first grade we were reduced to camping only over holiday weekends. It has been an adjustment and I have missed out regular escapes.
The last time we went camping was in October. We didn’t camp over Veteran’s day because it fell in the middle of the week, Thanksgiving week end we had tickets for the college football game on Friday.  We skipped New Years because of being sick and bad weather and somehow just forgot about Martin Luther King Jr. day.
It is tempting to just keep my son out of school now and then. He doesn’t even get President’s Day off. It would be so easy to let him skip a Monday and head out to a nearby campground. But I don’t want to do that. I want my son to think school is an important responsibility. To know that school is not optional.  Luckily he loves school and has never complained about going or asked to stay home.  I have watched other parents keep their kids out of school for a week to go to Disneyland and two weeks for Hawaii. Sure, travel is broadening but it doesn’t replace crucial learning at this early stage of their education.  Plus, when he gets older I don’t want him to skip school because through bad examples I have  taught him that school doesn’t have to be a priority.
It sucks  being tied to the school schedule. But I remind myself it is not forever, we have all summer and some scheduled long weekends off during the school year.  I did  promise  myself though that if it ever snows here in the desert  (a whole inch not just flurries)  E will get a snow day, even if the schools don’t close.  I don’t want to be a total ogre.

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