Oh, Summer Break
After the insanity of May, you come in with such promise. There are hopes of sleeping in and lazy days. In 2017, some parents even make Summer bucket lists for their children. The zoo? A waterpark? Just add it to the list, little one, as this Summer is sure to be the best yet.
The first day of Summer is a welcome relief. No alarms. No lunches to pack. Maybe you go to the pool or maybe you do nothing at all because it’s blessed Summer and you can do whatever you want. But then the reality sets in. After a few days home, you remember the rest of Summer looms ahead of you and that three months is a long time to account for. You Google local camps to see who has availability, which is approximately none of them because all of the other moms thought of this 3 months ago, while you were still enjoying the high of sending them back to school after Christmas Break. You might find one camp that still has a slot open, but then see that it’s $7,000 for the week and your five-year-old must have already completed college to be eligible.
It’s going to be a long Summer, indeed.
The kids can sense it, too. They know that you haven’t actually planned anything beyond day two. Every morning they begin their day by asking “What are we doing today?” You remember your neighborhood has a pool! Deck chairs! A cold drink! A magazine! Except it won’t be like that at all. You’ll have to bring 3 floats, lunches, snacks for when they don’t like the lunches, extra sunscreen, and swim diapers. Then you’ll spend the next 2 hours reminding one child that they don’t know how to swim while your other child pulls down your swimsuit top. At 3pm you’ll remember that no one got any of that extra sunscreen and your snacks have all gotten wet and created a cracker-goo in the bottom of your beach bag.
At the end of week one, you remember why Summer should only be 5 days long. Tis a long stretch between the end of May and the first school bell in August. Remember in March when you vowed that your children would only have 30 minutes of screen time a day? Now you think back on that and laugh as you restart Toy Story.
You’ll fill your days with movies, water balloons and whatever craft supplies you can find in the back of that one closet. Somehow, we will make it through twelve Summer breaks. Our kids will grow up with fond memories of the long weeks at home. They won’t remember how tired you were or how many times you asked them to PLEASE JUST SHUT THE DOOR YOU’RE LETTING ALL THE COOL AIR OUT. They’ll only remember the long afternoons at the pool when their mom let them eat cracker-goo for lunch and didn’t make them wear sunscreen. “Those were the days” they’ll think as they drag their own children to an over-crowded splash pad.
Those were the days.
Do you have any tips for getting through the dog days of Summer with little ones at home? Tell your family and friends about them on your Families Connect page!
Torrey Swan is a former pediatric nurse who now spends most of her time chasing two red-headed daughters. Her favorite hobby is cooking with a proclivity for Mexican food and margaritas. She has resided in Nashville since the age of 11 and has been married to her husband, a Blackhawk pilot for the Army, since 2008.