A friend with young children lamented how she can’t believe the summer is ending. She was beating herself up for not doing all the things she wanted to do.
I remember this feeling when my boys were her kids’ ages (kindergarten and 2nd grade). Getting through summer was more like a marathon. It was something you survived with your sanity barely intact. It wasn’t fun, it was a period of parental heavy lifting as you tried to keep your kids occupied and active without barely a moment to yourself to recharge.
Now that my boys are in middle school (gasp!) and 4th grade, it’s a whole new territory. Itchy loves to read and could spend all day holed up in his room with a book and That Fucking Cat.
He pooh-poohed the Harry Potter series so I made a deal with him; I would deposit $10 in his savings account for every book he reads.
“You are paying me to read?”
Scratchy, being the
less literate more social of the two has a nice group of friends who live within walking distance. Ergo, summer is comparative breeze to those early parenting years.
I’m going to toot my own horn over all the awesome stuff we did this summer.
- Went on a cruise to Alaska (thanks Dad and Mac!)
- Camped for a week at the Tetons with good friends
- The kids went to a week-long sleepaway camp with their buddies
- We spent a day at the Renaissance Festival
- Climbed a 14,000 foot peak
- Went hiking with friends a lot
- Swam at the reservoir (oh wait, that was just me and my other kids)
- Spent a week in the Outer Banks at a lovely beach house with Loony’s family
- Camped at Rocky Mountain National Park
- Pole Theater USA!
Okay, Pole Theater USA isn’t really something the kids get stoked about but I’ve looked forward to it all year and the judges arrive soon, just as the kids go back to school, so I can bask in all their sexy, funny, irreverent, talented, sweet glory.
Here are the boys on their first days of school. I cannot believe it.
Itchy said that he wasn’t nervous about going to middle school. “I’m ambivalent” were his exact words. But despite that I could tell that he was nervous. I could read it in his body language and I felt deep empathy for that feeling of being in a new school for the first time.
I’m glad that 6th graders start a day before the 7th and 8th graders to give them time to acclimate. The first day is just about getting the class schedule and locker assignment and orientations. There is no curriculum that day other than settling in. Older students who volunteer for the 360 program call the incoming 6th grade before school starts and then guide them in the beginning. It’s a lot more gentle than my introduction to a new school.
Scratchy is in the 4th grade and is totally stoked because his good friend is in the same class and they get to sit next to each other.
What a great summer it has been. Yes, I got surly and desperately needed alone time and sometimes it felt like I was on an insane schedule, but I’m happy about everything we did. And let me say that I couldn’t have done it alone. My father and step-mother made Alaska possible, Alana and Ben made the Tetons and Rocky Mountain National Park possible, My Parasitic Twin was my partner in all the day hikes I did with the kids, Myjah made the Renaissance Festival happen, my wonderful sister-in-law made the Outer Banks happen, and I couldn’t have done any of it without my spirit daughter Bina.
Thank you all for a wonderful summer.