When school’s out you’re elated that the kids choose to sleep in their swimsuits, helping to lighten your laundry load a bit. You’re happy that you don’t have to stand in 100-degree temps in that un-Godly pick-up line when school is out for the day. There’s no re-teaching yourself how to graph linear equations just so you can help your child with their homework.
Thank God we aren’t there yet.
But then summer sets in and you’ve got bubble containers and squirt guns and Hot Wheels strewn about your backyard, not to mention your clusters of crepe myrtle and Mexican petunias blowing around the patio because they were rejected from the little ones’ picture-perfect bouquets. And then you have a handful of nieces and nephews staying over for a while, and they love playing with Playdoh and clomping around in your heels (which is when you decide that the entire upstairs needs area rugs). Your daughter even decided to scoot around wearing your sister’s heels. You have nieces who just love baking so you all make lemon loaf and distribute it to the six kids currently in your house, and all those kids get a major sugar rush and run in circles for an hour and finally crash into piles on the living room floor surrounded by every pillow in the entire house. Then there’s arguments and wresting and uncontrollable laughter and hearing your TV the loudest it has ever been. You try not to break your neck bringing in groceries while climbing the mountain of scooters and bikes in front of the door (at one time there were four scooters and three bikes!). After the girls wash mud from their feet, you run a bath and the handshower is on full-blast, spraying your walls, ceiling and floor uncontrollably like a crazy snake you can’t grasp on to. You keep thinking about all of those half-painted walls that you can’t do anything about while there are so.. many.. hands around. At the end of the day you do not one, but two, loads of dishes and wonder when you had gotten so many kid cups. You go through a loaf of bread in the blink of an eye. You willingly wake up at 5:30 to squeeze in some quiet coffee-time, though you stayed up ’til 11:30 knitting the night before–and what truly jolts you awake is stepping on that Lego that was camouflaged on the carpet. And in those early twilight hours, you know you should be getting to work on something, but you get distracted while staring at all of your blooms that are bowing down in the wind and watching the clouds roll in. You feel like you haven’t blinked in a couple of hours. After the annual summer vacation, you feel like you are still cleaning up residual sand weeks later and wondering how long that sunburn is gonna take to heal. You hope that you all don’t look like tomatoes for your first family photos in like 6 years. Then, you go school shopping with every other parent who gives you the look of “Hang in there. The finish line is close. We only have a few more days left of summer break.”
And then, school starts.
That first day, it’s so quiet. You can actually hear your ceiling fan. And it kind of drives you nuts, so you turn on some music and try to get back into the mode of work. then you find yourself staring out the window again, thinking about and missing your kids. You’re wondering if they are making new friends and like their teacher, hoping that they eat all of their carrots, and praying that there’s no homework on day one. You’re thankful for teachers who have the patience of Saints. Then you think of your AP English teacher and hope that she doesn’t read your blog post that is full of incomplete sentences and run-ons and hope that she doesn’t feel like a failure for my grammatical short-comings. Then you think of everything you did this summer and all the fun that was had–all the fun that outweighed the gobs of laundry and dishes. In the thick of all that chaos were a lot of lovely little moments. You realize that all those mishaps were quite entertaining, and you’re just really grateful to not live a dull life. And you are actually looking forward to the next summer break, but you are thankful that it is ten months away.