Have you felt it yet?… The sweat? Namely, the boob sweat?
That means summer is here, mommas! Rejoice! Salve, Maria?! Don’t the longer days sound just great??
Or how about blue crabs covered in Old Bay washed down with a cold beer? Or American flags flying everywhere in your sleepy small town? And you can’t forget late nights spent chasing fireflies in bare feet. At least, those are my go to summertime fantasies here in Maryland.
Now, we take a moment of silence to reflect on how we made it, moms. Or at least, how we’ve almost made it. There are probably still teacher gifts to buy, more class parties to make it through that are always smack dab in the middle of the day, and did you get tricked into chaperoning half a dozen field trips this spring??
The month of May is a catastrophic marathon that tests the mettle of any parent’s sanity.
But you can do this.
If you send your kiddos to school, you probably signed a million and one worksheets this year, fielded parent-teacher phone calls like a high-powered CEO, and made a dozen gluten-peanut-GMO-covfefe free snacks for class parties.
If you homeschool, you made it through another year of arguing to get reluctant bottoms in chairs on time each day. You were parent, teacher, principal and jail warden all wrapped in one.
Now it’s warm. The birds are singing. The schedules are clearing. It’s summer.
Which is great, right?
How easily I forget how this plays out every.single.year.
The first few weeks are a welcome respite from our hectic daily routine. But after the first week, the children are “bored”, the house is a wreck and my sanity starts to deteriorate faster than the universe at the end of Infinity War.
Every year, I forget that I actually need to be proactive about how these summer days are going to play out if my sanity is to be preserved. But, as usual, reality and reason need to rule the day as much as our idealism.
But summer vacation is hardly a vacation. Think of it like an in-office work casual day. Most of the same stresses are there, just everyone is allowed to wear casual clothes.
So here, parents. I made you this list of what you’re actually going to do this summer. (Results may vary)
You will spend your vacation:
1.) Settling petty sibling disputes over the television remote.
2.) Settling petty sibling disputes over who was sitting in that chair first.
3.) Settling petty sibling disputes over who was breathing the air in the kitchen first.
4.) Planning to take your kids swimming. Then spending two hours trying to get to the pool because they all need help getting into their swim suits and you have to hazard spray them with sunscreen. About the time they are dressed and you are packed, you’ll realize you are out of swim diapers for the toddler.
5.) Killing mosquitoes.
6.) Wondering why the car smells the way it smells…like salty feet covered in stale juice.
7.) Staring at the magazines in the grocery store checkout line trumpeting celebrity beach bodies and tropical vacations while you purchase a box of Pop tarts and boxed wine.
8.) Listening to your children tell you they are bored.
9.) Listening to your children tell you they are hot.
10.) Listening to your children tell you they are bored AND hot.
11.) Yelling, “for the love, IN OR OUT!!!” after your children have come in and out of the house nine times in the last thirty
12.) Killing house flies.
13.) Struggling to put sunscreen on your octopus-armed toddler.
14.) Forgetting to put sunscreen on yourself and getting burnt.
15.) Having your children swat at your sunburn for five days straight.
16.) Telling yourself that when you don’t brush and/or blow dry your hair between the months of May and September, you can say you have beach waves going on, so it’s all good, just don’t mind the nest of birds and scattered pop rocks up there.
17.) Picking up damp towels and swimsuits off the bathroom floor.
18.) Picking up damp towels and swimsuits off the bedroom floor.
19.) Remembering that you left a bag full of damp towels and swimsuits in the back of the car last week…
20.) Helping your child squeeze their ice pops to the top so they can take a bite. Then watching them squeeze so hard all the ice falls out.
21.) Watching $12 worth of ice cream melt all over your children.
22.) Bathing children who have sand in hidden crevices scientists haven’t even discovered.
23.) Finding sippy cups that were carelessly tossed under a seat that have been baking in the sun and now have a pulse.
24.) Making thirteen trips to and from the car at the beach.
25.) Wondering why you are the only mom you know who seems to sweat more than Evander Holyfield.
26.) Yelling, “CLOSE THE DOOR! WE AREN’T AIR CONDITIONING THE WHOLE NEIGHBORHOOD!!!!” as realize you have turned into your parents so your life is over now.
27.) Wondering what happened to all of those people who used to party at the MTV Beach house.
28.) Worrying if the neighbors just heard shouting curse words at the dog through the open windows.
29.) Having your children interrupt your favorite song on the radio with questions about chicken nuggets.
30.) Wondering which child walked off with your sunglasses.
31.) Realizing you were jamming to Nelly and Beyonce fifteen years ago, and now you’re asthmatic after inflating all three of your kids beach balls.
32.) Telling your children not to run at the pool.
33.) Putting your kids to bed late after a busy day, thinking they will sleep in…
34.) Only to have them wake up earlier than usual and, also, hangry.
35.) Sitting in traffic.
36.) Trying to make up answers to all of your kid’s questions about when you’re going to take them to the: zoo, splash pad, pool, museum, movies and…
37.) Shaking a pound of sand and dirt out of your children’s shoes. Sweeping up sand off the floor. Vacuuming sand out of the car.
Here’s the truth. Summer has a magic all its own. Just now that you’re the parent, the magic is going to feel different. So, so different.
Now we have to look a lot harder to find the good stuff.
Like, picking up seashells with your little one.
Having a viable excuse to eat watermelon and cantaloupe for dinner.
Watching your children be overjoyed at the sight of fireflies.
The smell of salty hair after a swim in the ocean and coconut sunscreen.
A glass of wine on a warm summer evening.
Watching your kids eat ice pops, drink little huggies drinks and nom on ice cream, and it reminding you of your glorious summer days of old.
See? What did I tell you. Magic. You just have to look for it.