You guys, there’s trouble brewing.
I’ve sensed it for awhile, but lately it seems to be more and pressing, more ominous. The stores started taking on a different look — less umbrellas and swimsuits, more apples and pencils. My Facebook feed started looking decidedly more positive, as if millions of men and women were beginning to see the light at the end of a long, sprinkler-filled tunnel. I finally broke down and looked at my kitchen calendar, which confirmed my suspicions:
Summer is almost over.
Round these parts, we have about two more weeks left of summer before school starts. While I know so many of my fellow parents are super stoked about getting these kids back into some form of organized education, I have to tell you I am not in that camp. While it would make me look like a nicer person to tell you I don’t want summer to end because I enjoy having my kids around, that’s really only about 25% of the reason. I mean, I like them and all, but girl, please — I’m away at work all day long anyways. Go to school or park your ass on the couch for eight hours, it makes no difference to me. What I’m really dreading is the end of summer and all the glorious laziness that comes along with it.
Yes that’s right — ours is a family that revels in the opportunities for sheer nothingness that summer provides. There was that summer a few years ago when I scheduled every kid to the hilt with activities, keeping everyone on a schedule for almost the entire summer going to camps, classes, activities, etc. Last summer, I did a few camps, but nearly as many as the year before. This summer? We half-heartedly signed Bella up for a two-week social skills camp, which everyone agreed they disliked and required three straight days of bribes with Slurpees and a final trip to Target to get us to the finishing line of actually finishing the camp.
After nine straight months of getting up early every weekday, struggling through nightly homework, and dealing with all the planning and fundraising and conferencing and IEP meetings, we are DONE when June arrives. Three entire months of sleeping in late and watching an obscene amount of television is exactly what we all want and crave. I mean, yes, we do other things as well — Phaedra has written two books this summer (that is no joke, which reminds me, what the fuck is my excuse?!) and Surrey has spent more hours outside learning how to water plants and garden with Rob than I think have in the last ten years. Bella is living her dream of not having to interact with people outside of her family or wear clothes on a daily basis.
Me? I’m living my dream of having kids but not having to actually carry out the crappier responsibilities that go along with it. Instead of waking up two cranky kids and an annoyingly happy one every weekday (shout out to whatever long-lost relative who passed the “morning person” gene on to Surrey! I can’t wait to thank you via surprise telephone call at 1 am!), I just get myself up for work and leave. It’s amazing. I don’t have to keep track of who did their homework or which kid has a field trip or which one needs to wear a green shirt or blue shirt to school on Wednesday and oh yeah next Thursday is Family Reading Night at the school but swim class is the same night so we’ll have to leave at 5:15 pm to get there by 6 pm and I know you don’t want to go Bella but you have to and JESUS IT’S ONLY SEPTEMBER HOW MANY MORE MONTHS OF THIS SHIT DO WE HAVE UNTIL IT’S SUMMER AGAIN?
I will also say this — it’s nice to be able to come home from work, eat dinner, and then just sit on the couch with my girls and do nothing. I don’t have to make sure the laundry is done so they have clean clothes the next day, or get lunches packed, or go through backpacks and deal with notes and paperwork. We just sit and watch cartoons and they gab at me about where they went with Daddy that day, or what they’re building out of clay, or Bella’s new business idea for making tiny cribs for baby dogs, specifically pugs because they are soooo cuuuuuuuuuute! I play on my phone while Surrey spends the entire time on my lap, which is annoying but a fun kind of annoying because otherwise I would be stressing about what time they make their way upstairs for bedtime. In the summertime, bedtime is an approximation. It’s the rule we all take delight in breaking during these slow, stretchy days of summer.
However, there is that saying about good things and moderation, and today when I overheard Phaedra excitedly telling Bella that she could actually feel her brain melting from all the YouTube videos she’d watched that day, I was finally like OHHHHHHH HOLY SHIT OKAY IT’S TIME TO GET THESE KIDS AN EDUCATION PASS ME THE TARGET AD AND PUT ON YOUR FLIP FLOPS WE’RE GOING SCHOOL SHOPPING RIGHT THE FUCK NOW. It’s time to start doing something more intellectually stimulating on a regular basis again, because Mama is not interested in renting out her basement to any adult children on a long-term basis. She is interested in one day turning it into a fun-filled cat amusement park/rescue mission/reality TV show called Kittyopolis, but that’s a different story altogether, and one that I haven’t quite finished fleshing out the details on yet, according to the uptight cat-haters in the loan department at the bank.
Oh well. Back to school, kids, but don’t worry — only nine more months until summer vacation! Don’t forget to grab your lunch box, put on your new tennis shoes, and be sure to blame last year’s teacher if your new teacher asks about your summer homework packet.
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