So you know how people are sometimes like, “Oh, teachers are so lucky because they get the whole summer off?” and you’re thinking, “Yeah, weellllll, I’m pretty sure many teachers are actually NOT spending every day of their summer lounging at the beach.” (I mean, if they are, that’s AWESOME because the teachers I know definitely deserve it after dealing with my kids all year.) But a lot of the teachers I know work during the summer… tutoring, running summer camps, teaching classes and most importantly, they’re always planning. They’re thinking about the upcoming year – new lesson plans, new classroom ideas, new projects, etc. They’re always thinking of new ways to inspire our kids. God bless them.
Well, I’m actually a LOT like a teacher. I mean, except for the advanced degrees in teaching and dedication to educating our youth. And except for the tutoring, running summer camps and teaching classes, too. Mostly, I’m a lot like a teacher in that, while it may have LOOKED like I took the whole summer off from writing this blog, you should know that I was always THINKING about it. See? SAME.
To be honest, I’m not sure what happened with this blog this summer. One minute, it was June 18th and I was posting about the Nib graduating from Kindergarten and then school was over and camp began and I started packing backpacks again and emptying sand out of everything and washing 18 bathing suits and towels every damn day and then there was that trip to London and more camp and more bathing suits and towels and avoiding sharks in the Outer Banks and more sand and geez, where did all of our bathing suits go? and planning birthday celebrations and PHEW, now it’s back to school time.
For years, I would hear people talk about how summer “just flew by” and I would think, “Really? Because those July days feel just as long as the ones in October to me…” And then I realized, you know who’s NOT talking about the summer flying by? The moms of babies and toddlers.
When you have kids under three years old, aalllllllll of the days are just one big blur. It’s like one giant, gray, swirl of time where early, early mornings turn into loooong days which turn into sleepless nights and then you start over again and again and in the middle, there’s mushy food and a LOT of mess and so much “No!” But then months and years pass and all of a sudden, there is a LIGHT at the end of the tunnel.
It’s when you can start calculating your consecutive sleep time in hours instead of minutes.
It’s when you don’t have to schedule your days around nap times and stress about a kid falling asleep in the car for seven minutes, which will set bedtime back by four hours.
It’s when the Mommy & Me classes become DROP OFF. Amen, let the choir sing.
Well, this year, I saw the light and I found myself in the “summer just flew by!” group for the first time ever. And these are the reasons why:
1. SLEEP. When our kids were little and woke up between 5:30-6:00, KJ or I had to wake up between 5:30-6:00, as well. You know, to make sure they didn’t set the house or a sibling on fire. But once they learned to fend for themselves (read: turn on the iPad), we were able to sleep later. But this is true ONLY in the summer because APPARENTLY – as I learned YESTERDAY – even nine- and six-year olds cannot be expected to get ready for school and onto the bus by themselves. Huh.
2. SWIM. All of my kids can all swim. Girls say Hallelujah, WOO! No more boring baby pool! Now we can all swim in the big, fun pool or maybe some of us might swim in the big, fun pool while others of us might sit in the big, fun lounge chair and read a book and let those college kid lifeguards earn their beer money.*
*I’m KIDDING. I totally watch my kids when they’re swimming… from over the pages of my book.
3. CAMP. Camp hours are LONGER than school hours. The bus picks them up. They play, swim, run. Camp feeds them lunch. They play, swim, run some more. And then bus brings them home EXHAUSTED. Who invented camp? High five to that guy.
4. COOK, Don’t have to. No one expects you to make dinner in the summer. Hot dogs, hamburgers and fries from the snack bar four times a week is PERFECT. A few slices of cheese and an applesauce pouch is FINE and if they have ice cream after 4:30pm, that can count as the evening meal.
Please note: IF THE ABOVE IS, IN ANY WAY, NOT TRUE, I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW. DO NOT TELL ME THAT HOMECOOKED MEAL PROVISION IS ACTUALLY A FOUR-SEASON REQUIREMENT.
5. HYGIENE. Pool = bathtub/shower. Obvs.
As far as I can tell, the only negatives to summer parenting can be summed up in two words: laundry and sunblock. And I’ll gladly take those in exchange for all of that other good stuff outlined above.
Anyway, the point is that summer is over, and since I’m JUST LIKE A TEACHER, I’m going to get back to work on this blog now.
Please free to bring me new school supplies; I especially like notebooks and pens. I don’t need tissues… save those for the real other teachers.
I hope everyone had a great summer!
Here are some highlights from ours…