The countdown to summer is upon us.
The long, lazy days filled with swimming and cookouts and vacations is nearly here.
As you will recall, when you were a kid this was the absolute most glorious time of the year. Closing the schoolbooks and packing up all the things in your desk to take home was one of the great events of your childhood. You felt proud about the accomplishments of completing another school year and eager to begin your carefree, lovely days of summer. You were on cloud nine with blissful expectation of the next three months.
Mothers know about feelings and clouds, too.
The only difference is, instead of being ON cloud nine, sometimes cloud nine descends UPON us, suffocating us in slight despair over what the heck we are going to do with our children for three whole months. Don't get me wrong, we are eager for a break in the crazy schedules of carpool and homework and last minute projects and sporting events, and we really DO want to spend more time with the kiddos at home, but we also know a few unshakable truths.
*The first three days will be wonderful. Everyone will sleep in, the slow pace of nowhere to be will be lovely, and the kids will be happy riding their bikes and playing outside.
*Then day 4 will hit. And with it comes all the hitting among siblings as well.
*Your backyard will become quite similar to a warzone because that's where you send your kids when you tell them to just "go work it out amongst themselves".
*Your pantry and refrigerator will be raided so often you will have to put a lock and key on it to prevent unsupervised searches for "healthy snacks".
*By day 7 you will be searching for another Vacation Bible School or day camp to send the kids to. You will become known as the VBS lady because you and your darlings make the rounds to every church in town no matter if it's Episcopalian, Methodist, Catholic, or some weird snake handling kind of place. Hey kids, they all teach you about Jesus, right?! Let's go!!
*Every few days, your children will do something so incredibly sweet and childishly wonderful that you will take pictures and find the strength to go on. Case in point: this pic of our youngest when she wanted to play "wedding". WHO can possibly resist that charm? You'll wish your babies could stay home with you every day for forever.
*Your yard will look like a mating spot for mosquitoes thanks to the hours of sprinklers, slip 'n slides, and baby pools and the standing water those activities tend to leave behind.
*TiVo will be working overtime.
*Storeowners are afraid as well of the little summertime shoppers enjoying their freedom. By July, you'll see all sorts of signs like this one displayed in front windows.
*By day 24, you will be asking sweet Jesus what on earth you did to need the discipline reserved for the utmost of sinners.
*You will learn to be afraid, very afraid of the free kids' movie days at local theaters. Don't believe me? You've never been. Just imagine 200 screaming children throwing popcorn and crawling over one another and the trips to the restroom (which has been used exclusively by kids under the age of 10 that entire day). You'll learn that paying $50 to go to a regular showing time is money well spent.
*August will begin approaching as a beacon of light in the darkness. A source of hope in the mire of fussing, boredom, and television.
Ah, yes, the dog days of summer are nearly here. The little backpacks are rolling your way very, very soon.
Got your game face on?