It may be that I am the worst mother in town. You see, I love my kids…but I don’t want school to be out for summer. Nope. No way. Nada. Sure, they are excited. And I remember that joyous, carefree feeling of flying out of the school doors on the last day and thinking, “Whoo—hoo! Good-bye school and heeellllooo summer.” As an elementary kid, that was just about the best feeling in the world. I had it all planned out in my mind: pool and trips to the local attractions like the zoo and Six Flags, if I could get mom to take me.
In all honesty, my summers were pretty fun. It didn’t always mean the big pool, but perhaps the plastic one with the built-in-slide shaped like a turtle. It meant popsicles and the smell of mom’s Hawaiian Tropic suntan oil (back before we cared about high SPF). It meant mac ‘n cheese for lunch everyday because I wasn’t buying school lunch.
Yet, I wonder how my mom felt about summer? Her free time now slashed in half–or practically nonexistant. And I wonder if she planned summer camps and “enrichment” activities for me and my sister like I feel I need to do for my kids? (I can remember doing a few things like that when I was an older elementary student, but nothing as young as my kids are now).
I do wish I could embrace summer and just go with the flow. Yet I have goals, dreams, aspirations, and doggone-it–structure–that I like to employ in my day-to-day life.
So, here’s what I am doing in preparation of the last day of school: getting proactive. Kind of.
- I cleaned out the kids’ craft cabinet and re-discovered workbooks, coloring books, markers, etc that I could re-purpose. Everyday, I have decided the girls will have a quiet work time in which they can complete these workbooks that have been collecting dust. They will have to show me what they have done.
- Purging the basement playroom. Lot’s of old toys are going. Lots of others are being reclaimed so when the kids get bored, I can say, “Oh, you have such-and-such you haven’t played with in eons!”
- Reorganizing the pantry and stocking it with fun, healthy, easy-to-eat snacks like all-fruit popsicles, string cheese, Raisinettes, and those delicious sweet potato chips from WholeFoods.
- Going through piles and piles of papers that have suddenly appeared on my countertop as the school year comes to a close. Assessments and report cards are getting filed, school notebooks and supplies redistributed, projects are going in large portfolios (or the recycling bin….sorry, guys). And finally,
- Making a pile of things for the girls to organize when we get one of those really hot, really boring days.
And that is how I am saying good-bye to the school year. Sigh…
When’s the first day back, again?!