We made it through the summer. YES! As the school year was ending last May, Manny and I adopted Vee, Manny got a Master’s Degree from Georgia Tech, I left my job, and we all packed up and moved to Merritt Island, Florida.
Manny started working right away, and Vee and I were left to our own devices Monday through Friday. The first couple of weeks were filled with unpacking, getting to know the town, figuring out how everything works in the military (still working on that), and trying to come up with ideas to make our summer experience joyful for everyone. Mainly, this meant to involve Vee in activities, so that he could get to know other youth, spend some energy, and spend time with the family. So this is what we came up with:
YMCA (A mothers’ friend)
I drove to the YMCA in Cocoa almost every weekday during the summer, and dropped Vee off for Basketball, swimming, and free time with new friends. It was a 15-minute drive each way, but it was well worth it. Being at the YMCA gave Vee an opportunity to spend time with other youth and, most importantly, burn through some energy.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF MERRITT ISLAND
Our new church is awesome and has some great programs to get youth plugged in.
On Mondays, Vee and I volunteered at House of Hope, a food and clothes ministry sponsored by a group of churches, including ours, for the community. We sorted through food, passed out bags of vegetables, and anything else needed from 6am-11am.
Wednesday evenings are spent at Firehouse, the youth ministry at church, which gives Vee a chance to get some snacks from the vending machine (we eat pretty healthy at home, so he enjoys this treat), meet good friends, and learn about God. The youth at the church are great, and Vee has made some really nice friends already.
Vee also joined a group of great guys from church on Fridays to play soccer. The guys are really welcoming and encouraging, and Vee is still joining them on Fridays.
BEACH. PARKS. SUN.
Aside from taking advantage of some great programs, we also enjoyed the beautiful weather in Florida and headed outside.
Out with a bang… or fish and ice cream
To end the summer, we went out on dates: Father/Son, Mother/Son. Manny and Vee finally got a fishing license, went fishing, and caught ONE whole fish. SUCCESS. Vee had wanted to go out fishing for the entire summer, so just holding the fishing pole was a reward.
I, on the other hand, chose to do something more enjoyable. Can you say COLDSTONE? At some point during the summer days, Vee mentioned that his favorite ice cream came from another ice cream joint that was not COLDSTONE. MADNESS! He later confessed that he had never been to COLDSTONE (ahh.. the betrayal makes sense), a situation that had to be promptly rectified.
Of course, summer does not come to an end without back-to-school shopping… or so I hear. So, we headed to American Eagle. I guess there is such thing as “too cool for school.”
We did have some challenges this summer, including summer reading, “there is nothing to do” days, and some other things that you will hear about along the way… but we made it. Three months after becoming a family, we have even survived our first week of school, got all the needed supplies, and have a schedule down. Kind of.
Believing in a great year ahead,