Thursday, May 30, 2013

Blog in a blog.........

My cousin, Alex, passed this link on to me today:

I can SO relate to this mom. Although she has younger kids, I've been there and now, even with teenagers, I always feel the slow crawl to summer starting around April. I think the biggest part of this is that starting around April, all of the "end of the year" stuff starts happening. As in, teachers try to cram in the stuff they haven't covered (I know we're doing it in MY classroom!), there are year-end banquets for sports, recitals for dance, last games and the time June rolls around, we've been known to be busy almost every night of the week.

This year it's not too bad. No one is playing sports, or taking dance. We have a couple concerts coming up, but mostly the kids are just in actual physical pain from having to go to school for ten more days. They contort and twist their faces in despair each day and put desperate pleas on Facebook for summer to PLEASE GET HERE ALREADY!

Of course, after the first day, they'll be bored. It's the same story every year. Unless I'm jumping through hoops and acting like a circus ringmaster to entertain them, they can't seem to find anything to do. I love to read their yearbooks: "Let's hang this summer!" "We're gonna tear it up this summer!" "We HAVE to hang out this summer!" But they won't. They will sleep until noon, drape their bodies over the couch and floor and watch TV for hours while simultaneously playing monotonous games on their iPads and texting on their phones. Most days will pass without them even knowing if the sun was shining because they will stay inside all day.

I bust my ass to plan outings. I put every outdoor concert I can find on my calendar, only to attend maybe one (if I'm lucky) because no one wants to drag themselves out of the house at 6 p.m. because they haven't showered yet. I always wait too long to plan camping trips so that by the time summer rolls around, I'm scrambling for a good spot so we can go "camping" (otherwise known as two full days of work for 1.5 days of sleeping in the camper in a marginal spot at a state park).

But I am counting down the days as well. My kindergarten class is not immune to senioritis, it seems, and they are getting a little squirrely. Ok, a lot. Most days I feel like having extra recess - for the whole day! Yesterday the math lesson was so boring and not one child was listening. I watched the teacher keep trying to slog through it and finally said to her under my breath, "This is so boring, we really need to move on to something else!" Improvise, teachers! You're losing the kids anyway, at least try to keep them engaged. One little boy asked me today how many more days until he was in first grade. I wasn't sure if that was because he couldn't wait to be a first-grader or he couldn't wait to get the heck out of dodge.

I will NOT miss making lunches every day. Oh. My. God. I hate making lunches. For one thing, how can you be creative with lunch 180 days a year? I get so bored with what to pack for the kids and the whole process just gives me a rash. Next year they are making their own lunches. I'm done. I feel a tiny bit bad because the younger kids always have to grow up faster than the older ones, but I don't feel bad enough to change my mind on this. In fact, I don't really enjoy feeding people at all. Unless it's at a restaurant. Cooking has lost all its charm for me and just throwing together a dinner every night at this point is like fingernails on a chalkboard - so irritating! Why can't we just have cereal and call it good?

The best part is that I also get the summer off. Working at a school has its advantages. But that also means I have to spend my days with four teenagers, two of whom will be out of high school, and only one of whom drives. That means I can't just send them all off on an adventure because they are scattered in a million different directions which means at least half of them are home at any given time. I really miss being alone in my house. A LOT.

I have big plans, too. Just like every summer: I'm going to get caught up on scrapbooks and photo albums, I'm going to write a best-seller, I'm going to exercise every day and get in the best shape of my life. I might sign up for a class! Go on a lot of hikes! Get a fabulous tan! Psh. Before I know it, summer will be gone and none of those things will have come to fruition because I've spent my summer ferrying kids around, pushing them out the door to get some fresh air and planning big adventures that turn out to be duds because everyone is fighting.

But, good news! I know from past experience that there will be lazy days that end in a delicious BBQ on the deck, lots of nights around the fire pit consuming too many s'mores, watermelon galore, iced tea and lemonade and some crazy road trips. Mostly the mind-numbing slogging through each day will be over and we'll wake up every morning for ten weeks with the promise of a whole day ahead to do whatever we want.

Like the mom in the blog, I haven't checked backpacks, homework or anything pretty much all year. I trust that my kids will do what needs to be done so they don't flunk out of school. My daughter is graduating by the skin of her teeth, which makes me both happy and sad. I'll have successfully (?) raised half of my children to adulthood. One year I found a half-eaten sandwich covered in mold and a bag of carrot sticks swimming in goo in my kids' backpack in August. I hadn't bothered to go through it at the end of the year. I probably won't bother to go through them this year either. They rarely bring home "keepers" these days - artwork, cute projects and things worth saving. I do love their writing, but they rarely show it to me anymore. I'll tuck their awards and certificates away in their keepsakes.

But boy, do I have some chores for them! C'mon, summer!

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