Mother Nature
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Mother Nature: Saying Good-bye to School

By Leslie Lindsay

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?!


  1. Mark says

    Your plan of action sounds fantastic. Especially having them spend time each day on the workbooks. That seems like it will help them keep a school-like routine, so it’s not so difficult to get them doing homework again come autumn, while being fun for them too (because coloring books are awesome)!

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