Sayonara, Summer

by Brooke Bernard on July 25, 2012

I don’t mean to throw any of you moms into a panic out there, but where I live down South, school starts in 7 days. That’s right. Seven. Isn’t that the name of a pretty intense horror-ish film? Seems about right. Horror-ish is an effective, if invented, term to describe my feelings about the next 7 days.

If you’ve been following along since I started blogging for the Mamas site back in spring 2011, you’ve either looked on in terror or nodded knowingly in camaraderie as I bitingly make my way through parenthood. In past posts, I may have admitted to not wanting to spend every single waking moment with my children. Gasp. I’m just not that mom. And since this is Mamas Against Drama, you are forbidden from judging me. At least out loud. Or something like that.

So, you may be shocked to now read (although there was some foreshadowing a few months ago when I sort of admitted to looking forward to summer for the first time ever) that I’m not exactly thrilled to say sayonara to our summer days.

At ages almost 7 and almost 4, my kids and I actually had fun together most days this summer. There was so much less wiping (mouths, butts, fingers) and so much more fun. (Well, when I was so sick on our annual beach vacation that I asked my husband to call a priest, that wasn’t fun. But mostly the summer was fun.)

Summer saw my kindergarten graduate deciding to try a facemask for swimming at the neighborhood pool. Before my eyes, he morphed from a boy who lurked poolside each day to Oceanus, flipping and diving and laughing for hours on end. I hardly know what to make of this bright-eyed boy – who just a few short years ago was frozen by fear to try anything new, who was unable to express his emotions in any semblance of an appropriate way. I thought those memories of his third year of life and their still tangible feelings would never leave me. But this summer, more than ever, despite the record breaking pollen and the record breaking heat, my hope for my future as a parent is more powerful than my fear about my future as a parent.

When my son was 3, I couldn’t imagine how life could ever be “normal” again. Everything about parenting was a nightmare. Thanks to solving the mystery his food allergies and sensitivities and changing our eating lifestyle as a family, the hope started to rise. But to look forward to a summer? To actually desire to spend hours on end with children, every day? That would be crazy.

Apparently, I have arrived. *Waving!* I can see you all here with me, you know.

Lest you think I’ve lost my biting edge, don’t forget I do still also parent a 3-year-old, who is proving that year number 3 for any child is apparently my reason for craving an alcoholic beverage by noon each day. But this summer, even my daughter’s firm belief (expressed in tantrum form a few times each day) that she’s ready to move out on her own (except when she still wants to be carried and cuddled), can’t bring me down. No, I will not be thwarted by her blood curdling screams each morning as I comb her hair or by her spitting in my face at the library. My hope will keep rising (because her fourth birthday is just 6 months away), and I will be sad to say sayonara to the only summer my kids were almost 4 and almost 7.

Freelance editor/writer and mother of 2, Brooke Bernard blogs most Wednesdays for Mamas Against Drama. Catch her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BrookeBBlogs.

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