1st day of summer: the good, the bad and the unexpected

My boys  (ages 7, 10 and 13)  had their last day of school yesterday. The end of the year snuck up on me while I was busy with work projects so I spent the morning paying library fines for lost books, and buying and delivering teacher gifts  (nothing like the last-minute!)  Then the kids came home, giddy as can be.

Aden hoolahoop summer starts

The younger two will start various camps next week and I’m trying to figure out what to do with my teenager.  But day-one of summer vacation was about just chillin’.

Some early observations:

The good:   I didn’t have to pack three lunches this morning. No arguing about food and rushing around like a lunatic. No extra Tupperware clogging up the dishwasher.

The not so good:  I still had to make lunch! In fact, now the kids have friends over and I have to make lunch for more kids and actually watch them not eat what I prepare. At least at school, I’m blissfully unaware of how much they waste.

Bus stop kids, last day of school

Bus stop kids, last day of school

The good:  No more rushing to make the school bus in the morning and afternoon.

The not so good:   I’ll miss my bus stop pals. Where will I get my latest crime reports and funny kid stories? I looked forward to that adult conversation and camaraderie twice a day.

The good:  The kids slept late and entertained themselves this morning, just like a weekend. I got to read, clean up, and take a run in peace.

The not so good:  I can see already that the Xbox and I are going to have a real problem this summer. He’s just too tempting and sucks all the life and time out of my eager children.

The good:  We have no routine, which feels freeing and fun. It’s all possibilities!

The not so good:  We have no routine! It’s up to me to find ways to engage these people in activities that hopefully don’t involve a screen.  Everyone’s going to bed at crazy hours. “Who cares how late we stay up, mom? It’s summer!”

Summer fun

The good: I loved cuddling with Eli in bed this morning and planning the day together. I won’t eat as many meals alone and I have buddies on my errands.

The not so good:   They’re all in my bidness.  It’s difficult to get work done. During the school year they do their thing and I do mine, and usually they don’t give a hoot about where I am in the hours they don’t see me.  Now they’re complaining about everything we have to get done and want a say in the plan.

The unexpected:  On my run this morning I heard a sad Sheryl Crow song and got choked up. As I held back tears, I realized that I had been stifling them since yesterday.

Summer is my favorite time of year. I love being with my kids more– despite my facetious complaining– and enjoying free, unstructured time.  But the beginning of summer, also means the end of another school year.  Jacob only has one more year of middle school , Aden is almost done with grammar school, and Eli will never be in first grade again.

Summer starts

All three boys refused to get sentimental about leaving their teachers and classmates, so maybe I was feeling it for them. Or maybe I just hate how little control I have over time.

Instead of rejoicing the beginning of summer, I’ve been a bit mellow. I guess all I can do is try to appreciate the good right now.  I know I’ll look back and be glad I did.

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