Saturday, July 2, 2011

Because the night

In the midst of a long summer weekend, we let the boys stay up later than usual the past two nights. Instead of the usual 8-8:30 p.m. they normally would start winding down at, they stayed up past 9.

Occasionally, the boys stay up late when circumstances dictate -- for example from recently, when Eldest had a late baseball game or swim meet. But last night and tonight, they stayed up later just because it's summer, we have nothing imminent in the morning, and they were having fun playing. Tonight, we went for a late hike to watch the sunset. We got home at about 9:25, and the boys weren't asleep until 10.

Summer evenings are rough here in Utah -- the weather finally cools off a little (especially today), and sunset is so late. In Chicago, it was dark by 9 p.m.; here sunset was 9:02 p.m. today. With the boys not quite old enough to stay up past 9 consistently, these long days create a dilemma. I'm more apt to let them stay up. They won't get this late play time during the school year (or even much during the week).

Growing up, we used to play outside when it was dark. I know it scared my mother when we'd play Jailbreak or Ghost in the Graveyard, but inevitably, the night bumped into play time. I don't even know if kids (and I don't mean teens, but younger kids) play outside after sunset here in the summer because it gets dark so late. I wonder how parents handle this in Alaska ...

One of Eldest's friends went to a drive-in movie last night, and he said he wanted to go sometime, too. I will take them, but not in the middle of summer when the movie won't start until 10 and they will fall asleep 20 minutes in (which his friend did). Maybe September? In the meantime, we have a late night ahead Monday night to see the July 4 fireworks at the park near us. Last year, Littlest fell asleep on the walk home. But letting him stay up late was well worth it.

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