I'm seeing all these adorable blog posts all over Facebook about summer and the many different stories and songs already being written about it. Topics are about everything under the sun, from how to keep your kids academically challenged through the time off of school all the way to allowing your kids to be bored to allow room for creativity to flourish. My favorite so far is probably the women who said she doesn't want to over-schedule her kids this summer, but a few weeks at day camp is enough to prompt her to let loose a "hell yeah!"
Summer is a beast, man. I'm just trying to survive.
I know, I know. We were all moaning and groaning like crazy in winter when it felt like we were living north of the Wall, but I'm not just talking temperature here, folks. I honestly have no clue how you parents who are working those "real jobs" do it. You know, those jobs I keep hearing about where you go to work in the morning wearing real pants and cute shoes, sit in a ergonomically correct chair, have a "business lunch," and then get money put into your bank account every two weeks. Sounds pretty magical to me. Anyway, you folks who exist in this fairyland are amazing. How in the name of John Snow's lovely locks do you manage SUMMER?
The kids are home and the word on the street is that they need to be cared for beyond a dish of food and water and the occasional pat on the head. Many of you choose to bring them to a day camp like the one I am working at where we try to wear them out as much as possible so that when you pick them up they are ready to crash hard. As a matter of fact, most of us teachers crash pretty hard when we get home too. Your kids are exhausting. (And by "your kids" I also refer to "my kids" since my own little maniacs are also attending the camp where I work. We're all in this together.)
But what about those weeks when camp isn't in session?
How do you manage pick up and drop off if the hours don't even remotely match with your work life?
What about the younger kids who aren't old enough yet to come hang out with us?
Props, parents. Summer is billed to be this huge sigh of relief, this collective exhale where we all get to kick off our shoes, bask in the sun, and let loose for a couple months. As I'm coming to find out as my kids get older, summer is just a whole new kind of crazy. T-ball practices, trying to get my money's worth out of my zoo pass, birthday parties, waterparks, church camp and more. And having to fit all that in the seams of a grown up life that hasn't really changed all that much is mind blowing.
As for us, our mornings begin even earlier than they did during the school year and I have threatened my husband with physical harm if he fails to help me pack the boys' lunches the night before. I get home from spending four hours with dozens of kids age four through seven, pound a reheated cup of coffee, get the little one to bed for a nap, fight the urge to leave the older boys to terrorize the neighborhood while I also succumb to the siren song of sleep, get changed and get ready to go to my night job where my step count sky-rockets as I serve pints of beer, bowls of corn, and plates of flatbread. It takes every ounce of energy I have left in me to hold my eyelids open long enough to drive myself home at night.
My poor husband.
All that's left for him is a completely depleted shell of a wife who stumbled in the door empty, cranky, and likely kind of hungry. None of those things add up to me having a very amiable disposition.
But my kids can't stop raving about it. Sure, it's only the first week of this adventure, but they are loving every second of it. Water Day!!! Hot Dog Day!!! Sliiiiimmmmeeeee!!!! I catch them singing worship songs when they don't even realize it. What else could I ask for?
Earlier this week, on the night I didn't have to work at night at the restaurant, I had a whole list of things I needed to do during the afternoon that I hadn't had time to get to otherwise. I put the baby to bed, set the big kids to playing, and resolved to get right to it.....after I rested for a few minutes.
Then this happened:
And yes, those are paper talons on my son's hand. He made a whole set of ten thanks to the friendly folding gurus at Camp.
How is your summer going?