When I was young, summertime was filled with long, lazy days. We would camp, run through the sprinkler, and patiently wait (with money in hand) for the ice cream truck to finally reach our street.
Summer seemed to go on forever and the days had a laid back feel that I wouldn’t recognize now!
As a teacher, people often comment to me that it must be wonderful to have the summer to relax. I usually smile and just agree, but sometimes I have to climb up on my oversized soap box and share my reality.
Here’s the truth…the summers of today are nothing like those of the past!
7:00 am-left the house for private swimming lesson and did not have time to stop for the much needed triple grande latte
7:30 am-showed up to pool and found that our beloved instructor was not going to be teaching today. Instead, our instructor was going to be a woman that we had previously had and the experience was not positive. In fact, it went so poorly that we did not complete all of the days in last summer’s swimming camp.
I sit there, trying to put on a believable smile, while I hear her speaking in a condescending tone to my son. It is clear that my son’s sensitivity to water in his ears and nose annoys her and the constant fiddling with the goggles is too time-consuming. Throughout the lesson, I’m thinking about the email that I’m going to write explaining the importance of having our regular instructor for upcoming lessons.
8:00 am-my TBP is spent from the physical and emotional workout that he just completed. I’m proud of him for tolerating what I found intolerable. We get that much needed coffee before stopping briefly at the store for a few items. Because he is done, this trip must be fast and concise in order to avoid a public tantrum. I allow my tall boy to sit squished in the shopping cart with an iPad and ignore the eye-rolling that I get from fellow shoppers.
10:00 am-I come home and let out our labradoodle puppy and she instantly bounces toward my fragile, elderly wire fox terrier. This causes an emotional reaction from my son and my desire to minimize the situation as puppy play is seen as disloyalty. Sigh…
10:30 am-first potty accident of the day (there will be others) and this is extremely bothersome to my TBP
11:30 am-lunch, laundry, dishes, and then the first time of the day where my son and I sit and talk. We talk while playing Legos and it is reported that he is troubled by the barking, accidents, rough-housing, and attention that the puppy requires. I am tempted to respond in a frustrated fashion, but I understand. Change is hard and a puppy is work…even the cutest puppy!
2:30 pm-I catch a glance of myself in the mirror. I look tired. Not tired…exhausted! There’s little left of my morning makeup routine and my hair looks frazzled… like my nerves! My reflection doesn’t match the “carefree summer” look that you might expect.
4:00 pm-I begin to put together the components of dinner in between requests from my son and separating the dogs to prevent puppy play gone wild. I try to sit down to write and each attempt is met with requests, needs, or questions from my son.
4:45 pm-it all comes to a boiling point and my son bursts into tears. He shares that his idea of summer was that it would be playing all day without any responsibilities. Wouldn’t that be nice?! I make a promise that we will have plenty of time for fun and “slounging” which is our word for being sleepy and lounging. Slounging happens best wrapped in a soft blanket and stretched out on our comfy couch in front of the tv.
This is a perfect example of a typical summer day for me. I would call it several things (crazy, stressful, hectic) but carefree and lazy were not in my vocabulary today! It isn’t a lemonade commercial by any means, but it is a big enough time frame that I will attempt for a more balanced approach of “have tos” and “want tos” that will equal a worthwhile summer!