The naive optimism of summer "holidays"

14 June 2013

Ok, "summer" break. We've got a bit of a discrepancy.

My calendar says you are blissfully 2 weeks away. I have counted on your fashionably late arrival, chuckling on the inside as my friends welcome their wee children home in the middle of May. I, too, love my children and look with naive optimism to the lazy, long days of summer, wherein bedtime routines are not as frantic, early morning brushing of teeth not as important. 

But this is not the point.

The point is, you are coming between us, my children and I. Because they think - told by their classmates and confirmed by exhausted teachers - you arrive Friday next. As in one week. As in seven days. Nay, four-and-a-half days (not counting the weekend, obvs) as the twelve noon bell rings the summer in. This is not what my calendar says, not what the woefully outdated school website says, not what my mother-heart says. And the eldest and I are at an empasse.

So I say I'll ring in to the school, confirm it with the nice secretary who knows me by name, or at least by sight. The American Mom, belonging to one American Jack(son). I'm sure she'll tell me the truth, so kind as she gently lets me down. But I'm afraid and I'd rather just wait and see. I'm really very good at purposefully living in ignorance.

The thing is, summer, the flipside of the relaxed bedtimes and fluid schedules is one kid asking for food all day long. Or the ice cream truck coming through at 3:56 every afternoon. Or Netflix streaming one terribly awful Power Rangers episode after another. Or the sun coming up at 4am, bringing little children to my bed before the most punctual bird ever nabs that first worm.

The school year gives us such a nice little rhythm, a schedule to abide by. It makes sure we're out the door by 8:40am. It keeps the children reading and gives Asher some independence. For a family that is so haphazard, we need those bits of routine. They make us feel like everyday we accomplish one more thing, keeping us sane and moving forward. 

I do love you, summer, really I do. I do think we may manage a day trip or two, the occasional walk to the park, the forts and the sea. I know we'll survive, like we do every summer. And I know it could be worse, the temps could be hellish and humid like last year, it could be Kansas in July.

But... but... I was counting on that extra week of solitude, of routine, of my own independence... even if heavily involved in the one-on-one game of potty training, with a heavy dose of laundry on the side. With all the children home, all day, every day... I may never do laundry again.

Oh, look at that! I found a silver lining. We'll just make it the Summer of No Laundry and call it even.

CODA: Verdict is two more weeks! That was a close one.

I can't be the only one with a summer holidays aversion. How do you cope with the loooooong days of summer?

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