The end of summer is around the corner and I have mixed feelings. Usually around the first week of August, I’m pulling my hair out. My kids are driving each other mad and me with all the “Stoo-op! Don’t touch me! Get off me” business. But this summer, as my time with them starts to dwindle, I dig my heels into the ground because I’m just not ready for our summer to end. The summers when the kids actually want me around are numbered, and I feel guilty for any missed opportunities. I fill our days with a whirlwind of games, activities, crafts, and cuddles, a party of sorts for a mom who knows she has one last hurrah before her freedom is gone and that union between student and school takes over. Soon it will be homework and soccer and not a lot of time for being carefree. Two-plus weeks and counting here until school begins, and I’m squeezing it in: creek time, detective adventures, a birthday party, more crafts, a sleepover…OK, so maybe I’m going a teeny bit overboard.
I’ll admit there’s some good and bad to school starting again, and here’s the way I see it:
1. I don’t have to sneak handfuls of chocolate chips, slivers of brownies, or other assorted treats. It is all mine for the taking and I can overindulge as much as I want. No one will be around to judge or beg.
2. I don’t have to bring my kids to the doctor with me, sit in a tiny room, and resist the urge to pull my eyeballs out while they ask for the millionth time when the doctor is coming because, God help me, I’m about to find him and yank him down the hall by his tie and ask him the same question.
3. I don’t have to hear another person talk, scream, wail, whine, or fuss for seven and a half hours of my day if I don’t want to.
4. I don’t have to wipe anything on anybody but myself, at least until 3:00.
5. The only questions I have to answer are “Where do you want to meet for lunch today, Dear?” and “Is your credit card company offering you the best rate…?”
1. There are suddenly a lot of places to be, a lot of things to do, and a lot of PTA people looking for me.
2. Homework…and the accompanying fussing for 30 minutes (or more on a very bad day) until they finally give in and do it and realize it takes more time to fuss than to actually do their homework.
3. I have to get up when it’s still dark.
4. Did I say homework?
5. I will miss my kids like crazy.