Have you felt it yet?… The sweat? Namely, the boob sweat?
Yes!? That means summer is here. Rejoice! Salve, Maria?! Don’t the longer days sound just great??
And also, maybe some 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, that’s my summertime fantasy here in Maryland.
Now we take a moment of silence to reflect on how we made it, moms. If your kids are in school, you made it through another year of homework and worksheets, forms to sign or homeschool schedules to coordinate.
If you send your kiddos to school, you made it through another year of hurrying little people who have many qualms about the way their socks feel out the door every morning. If you homeschool, you made it through another year of arguing to get reluctant bottoms in chairs to start on time each day.
Now it’s warm. The birds are singing. The schedules have cleared. 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 daily hectic routine. But after the first week, the children are “bored”, the house is a wreck and my sanity begins to decline. I forget that I actually need to be proactive, and consider just how these summer days are going to play out if my sanity is to be preserved.
I have already seen those blog posts extolling the wonders of summer bucket lists as I was scrolling through my social media feeds. One even suggested I plan an outdoor picnic for dinnertime.
I’ll pause here for a moment and let that sink in.
I wish they had said what they meant plainly instead of dressing up the idea of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut in half on paper plates into some perfect moment for familial bonding: “Hey, I know. It’s the witching hour for your children. You’re fried because it’s been a long day. The house is destroyed. Literally, it’s like a hand grenade went off in there, and it smells like stale spaghetti and cynicism. Here, I know. Let’s take all of this drama outdoors where there is sweltering humidity and mosquitoes. No really, it’ll be super relaxing.”
Everyone has some version of parenting – even the people who aren’t parents, believe it or not. And that’s totally legit and fine, I guess. But any version of parenting that doesn’t suggest lowering your standards before attempting anything with children in tow is tricking you. I mean, they are outright doing you a disservice. Life is pain, anyone who says differently (*cough* Pinterest) is selling something.
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 summer “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.) Deciding to take your kids swimming, and then spending two hours actually trying to get to the pool because you will realize one child doesn’t have floaties. So, you end up at the store to buy a puddle jumper, and end up buying goggles for every child that will be lost by the end of the week. When you finally get to the pool you’ll have to turn around because you forgot one child’s swimsuit, and then…
5.) Killing mosquitoes.
6.) Wondering why the car smells the way it smells…like salty ocean feet that stepped in stale juicy juice.
7.) Staring at the magazines in the checkout line at the grocery store trumpeting all of the celebrity beach bodies. You will then question every purchase in your cart, like those Pop Tarts and Salami. Whatever.
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 they are 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.) And then forgetting to put sunscreen on yourself, and getting sunburn on your shoulders.
15.) Telling yourself that when you don’t brush and/or blow dry your hair between the months of May and September, you actually have beach waves going on, so it’s all good, just don’t mind the nest of birds and scattered pop rocks up there.
16.) Picking up damp towels and swimsuits off of the bathroom floor.
17.) Picking up damp towels and swimsuits off of the bedroom floor.
18.) Remembering that you left a bag full of damp towels and swimsuits in the back of the car from last week.
19.) Helping your child squeeze the ice in the ice pops to the top so your toddler can take a bite. Then watching them squeeze too hard so the ice falls out.
20.) Watching $12 worth of ice cream melt all over your children.
21.) Bathing children who have sand in hidden crevices scientists have never discovered.
22.) Finding sippy cups and thermoses that were carelessly tossed under a seat that have been baking in the sun, and now have a pulse.
23.) Making thirteen trips to and from the car at the beach.
24.) Buying your children cotton candy after much pleading and watching the sugar take hold.
25.) Yelling, “CLOSE THE DOOR! WE AREN’T AIR CONDITIONING THE WHOLE NEIGHBORHOOD, SO CLOSE THE DOOR!!!!” while your children stare at you blankly, and you realize that you have turned into your parents so your life is over now.
26.) Wondering what happened to all of those people who used to party at the MTV Beach house.
27.) Thinking you want to ride with down the highway with the windows rolled down.
28.) Just kidding, that’s way too loud, and now your fake beach waves look even worse.
29.) Hauling sidewalk chalk, bubbles, a kiddy pool, Disney World and a kite outside.
30.) …Only to have your children tell you they are bored and hot and want to go back inside about thirteen minutes later.
31.) Telling your children not to run when they are at the pool.
32.) Watching the lifeguard remind your children not to run while at the pool….
33.) ..And then getting a glare from said lifeguard.
34.) Putting your kids to bed late after a long busy day, thinking they will sleep in…
35.) Only to have them wake up earlier than usual and also angry.
36.) Listening to your children tell you which of their friends from school is going to Disney World or on a cruise with their family for vacation.
37.) Covering your child’s ears while you’re watching the Fourth of July fireworks. Then sitting in an hour of traffic while you try to get home.
38.) Now that you mention it – traffic. You’re going to sit in traffic.
39.) Answering all of your kid’s questions about when you’re going to take them to the: zoo, splash pad, pool, museum, movies and <insert any other summertime activities here.>
40.) Shaking a pound of sand and dirt out of your children’s shoes. And sweeping it up off the floor. And shaking out your rugs.
I think you get the idea. 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 just 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.
A glass of wine on a 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.