The last day of school has arrived. Summer vacation starts next week.
Wait. Right there.
Stop and identify exactly how you felt when you read that notice. Did your heart lighten? Or did your stomach drop? A little of both?
We are standing at the edge of a water sprinkler, glorious sun warming our skin, lighting up the water droplets as they fly through the air, and all I can think is that I have work to do. I want to jump right in (yes! let’s do it!) but then I’d have to dry off and get dressed all over again and, just ugh.
I love summer at home with my kids. I realize that not all parents feel this way. I’m not, then, one of those parents that dread the kids being home. We do all we can to embrace every day off, deliberately spinning moments into memories lest the entire summer slip away. That’s the thing – if I didn’t stop myself and appreciate the gift of time we’ve been handed, the entire summer would evaporate with nothing but lots of hours on the couch to show for it.
It’s so easy to “we should do that tomorrow”-away our summers. A cool idea strikes us (the zoo! the beach! check out that new trail!) and we say, “We should do that tomorrow. I’d love to run out today but I just need to finish this one thing…” until we’ve wiled away the weeks with “we should do’s” and suddenly it’s August and Wal-Mart is full of school supplies again.
Talk about stomach dropping. That moment when you walk into the store and find yourself facing a wall of crayons and rulers and notebooks? We must fend off that “When did it become back-to-school time again?!” for as long as possible.
But back to that initial stomach drop in those first two lines. Yeah. The problem is that as much as I want to fill our summer with fun doings, I still have work to complete. Deadlines don’t take a summer break. Most of us don’t.
So how do we find the happy in-between? How do we remain productive while still enjoying a true summer that includes spontaneous outings with our kids on Wednesdays? Because, new rule, summer outings don’t count on Saturdays and Sundays.
I want to devour our summer days with the kids like a giant cherry pie on the fourth of July and then roll onto my back with a moan of satisfaction that only a day of overindulging in the sun can deliver. I want to feel the exhaustion of family fun without the tension in my neck of summer-less work. And I’d also like to pay my bills.
Heart lightened. Stomach dropped. Oh blech. This being a grown-up thing is complicated.
Are you excited for the kids to get out of school? A little stressed?
How do you strike the summer balance? Share your tips in the comments below and I may include them in an upcoming post wherein I attack this summer conundrum with a toolbox of tricks you help me fill!
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More of Megan on Threadbare Theory:
Spinning Moments Into Memories
Chasing the Ovation << fun summer thing to do this weekend!
Does Facebook (And Instagram. And your Mom) Think You Love One Kid More Than Another?
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photo credit: Picha Global