This past week, something seemingly simply occurred: my kids played nicely in the backyard with neighborhood friends. An activity which to me is quintessential to summer--kids playing in the yard--seems to have become a rarity in a time filled with camps and vacations and swim meets and the like.
The next door neighbor girls have returned from visiting their out-of-country grandmother for a while, and all the kids took to each other as if they'd just re-discovered old favorite toys. I decided to cap off the week with the offer of chocolate ice cream cones--a much easier thing to pull off than, say, a BBQ--with two other neighborhood friends as well. It was nice and sweet and chocolate-ty and now I have this to say:
I've basically hit everything on my summer bucket list. Road trip vacation, the pool, a trip up North, a fish fry with Amish, Mentos in a Diet Coke bottle, blueberry picking, and now ice cream. If it hasn't been done by now, f---- it.
My pedicure (the one I slopped on myself) is long chipped. It was pool weather this week, so we went, but not with the same enthusiasm as the start of summer and the first heat waves. We've lost a beach towel; swimsuits may be stretching out; sunscreen bottles are empty. My phone had a text frenzy of weary mothers who are putting their kids to bed either waaaay too early because they are driving them crazy, or waaaaay too late because their parental resolve is dissolving.
Back in July--when I was admittedly aghast that it was only July--I bucked up for a moment and created some bribery based system of getting my kids to do things like keep the house clean and practice their reading and math skills; it involved getting paper chain links. I may have even masterminded getting some girls together for a reading group. But now, the paper chain link is abandoned; I don't much monitor screen time. My kids bust me rolling my eyes more than that chick from 50 Shades of Grey. I pretend not to hear questions like "what are we going to do today?" Sister makes brother cry, and vice versa, for nonsensical reasons. According to my Facebook account, 90% of the country is back in school. The other 10% is feeding Pirate Booty and fruit snacks to their children for breakfast.
I think we are all in agreement: it's time for the kids to go back to school. Let's get on with it.
In our district, they like to wait until the 11th hour to let us know who their teachers will be. Meanwhile, my kids have had their haircuts, their new shoes, some new clothes, and all their supplies, including those pesky strong magnets that Target never seems to sell. My kids are playing nicely right now, but I don't think I'm alone to say this: wait much longer, and I might have an actual Hunger Games on my hands.
Yes, my children are precious little snowflakes, and I hope their teachers hold them dear and well. I know I'll be excited to see them return off the bus that first day. But I also hope those teachers are feeling re-charged and excited and organized, because that ship is sailing here. I'm saving my last bit of strength, like a camels back-fat or that bit of chewed squid penguins hold in their throats, to get through a final week of doctor's appointments and a birthday party. I'm counting on the teachers for that fresh-faced enthusiasm.
It's your turn. Here's the baton. I think I'll go book myself a pedicure now.