For Everything There is a Season

by Guest Author on August 8, 2012

By Emily Murray

Summer vacation used to scare the you-know-what out of me.  Back in the days when I had toddlers, I quickly got used to the sweet freedom provided by their mornings at pre-school.  When May rolled around, the two and a half months of summer vacation loomed like a giant black cloud.  I panicked.  I signed them up for any and all camps … VBS, gymnastics and dance, golf, swim lessons, etc. etc.  And how did we spend our summer?  Exactly as we spent the school year, racing from one activity to the next.

Now I know better.  Of course, my children are older – 11, 8 and 6 – and much more independent than they were as toddlers.  But, they are also much busier during the school year.  Between school and homework, sports and activities, we are going, going, going 24/7!  Now when May rolls around, we are ready for a change of pace.  Ready to embrace the sweet, slow, lazy days of summer.  We sleep late (which, of course, does NOT mean the same thing that it did in college or high school), we go from pajamas to bathing suits and back to pajamas again after long days at the pool.  We read! and stay up late, and when it cools down to 90 degrees in the evening, we go outside and eat popsicles and jump on the trampoline until the only noise you hear is the endless laughter and the chirping cicadas.

Of course, this happy laziness can only go on for so long.  Here we are, a week and a half from the start of school and the enchantment of summer has begun to fade.  There are more cries of, ‘I’m bored’, and ‘What are we going to do today?’ … even the pool is no longer a place they want to be.  My good friend, who is also at home all summer with her three children, calls and greets me with “Happy Groundhog Day!” – no longer just a day in February, but a reference to the movie where every day is the same with seemingly no end in sight.  And then I know.  It’s time to return to school and work, sports and activities, and all the craziness of our regular life.  But as I grow older, time passes more quickly and I know before long it will be May again.  And we will be ready!

{ 12 comments }

SH August 8, 2012 at 8:14 am

Summer is always more challenging with little ones under foot, but we really had a great time this year. With that said, I am embracing the idea of the new school year with a big fat hug ;) The countdown has begun…

Emily August 8, 2012 at 6:42 pm

It definitely gets easier … hang in there!!

When I Blink August 8, 2012 at 8:24 am

Summer used to scare me, too — in the toddler years. But now I love it.

I love, love, love, love, LOVE it. Because in the summer, I can be nice-mom. I don’t have to rush anyone; I don’t have to crab at anyone to do homework; I don’t have to force anyone to bed on time; I can say, “what the hell, let’s have ice cream for dinner,” because if it makes anybody a little hyper the next day, it’s not the end of the world.

In the summer, I am nice-me. Fun-me. That feels more like real me.

When school starts, I have to go back to being mean-me. Brush your teeth! Hurry! Pack your bag! Do your homework! No, you can’t scribble it — start over! Eat your dinner! Go to bed! Lights out! I said OUT!

I don’t like being Big Mean Mom. (But someone has to do it.) That’s why I like summer better.

Laura H. August 8, 2012 at 8:32 am

Ah, sweet ML, you are such a better mom than I am. I just had to take the tape measure (the metal, snapping back kind) away from 2 of my kids who were marking up the floor with it. This is after they tried to sneak breakfast upstairs (not allowed–new carpet). And this is also after a knock-down drag out because the 2 younger ones kept jumping on the oldest. And also after being bombarded with littles rushing our room at 6:28am. Patience has never been my strong suit. Ever. And I’m an only child who needs SPACE and some quiet. Summer smothers me. Sigh. When I get particularly claustrophobic feeling, I just search out The Blink’s FB page to get links to things that are funny. :)

SH August 8, 2012 at 8:40 am

Funny — I had to take a tape measure (same kind) away from the boys this morning, too…must be something in the summer air ;)

Emily August 8, 2012 at 6:59 pm

That sounds familiar … Big Mean Mom definately makes appearances at our house, too!!

Laura H. August 8, 2012 at 8:27 am

Thanks for joining us,Emily! And I agree: summertime with 3-5 year olds is torture. It does get easier when they are older, but I still am not sold on summertime being the greatest thing since sliced bread. Twelve weeks is too long for kids to have off, I think (a lot of us in Georgia still have the 9-month school calendar). I have 1 week and 1 day until my 2 oldest (8 & 6) head back and 1 week and 4 days until the youngest (4) is back in school. And I cannot wait. :)

Emily August 8, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Thanks so much for having me – I hope to do it again sometime!
I agree that 12 weeks is a long time … I have a friend that lives in North GA & their school system goes until the end of May, back on the 1st of August, with several random weeks off during the year. I think I could get on board with that plan!

Alexandra August 8, 2012 at 11:04 am

Great blog, Emily! I am in the “don’t want summer to end this year” camp, but have only recently switched from the “HOW long until school?, camp”.

Emily August 8, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Thanks, Alexandra! We actually went back to school today & there were no tears from anyone :-)

Tracy W August 8, 2012 at 10:49 pm

I felt the same way at the beginning of this summer – panic about having to be with both girls without a break. And, my two year old decided “Me big” and jettisoned her afternoon nap. We were able to get into a groove – but I am certainly looking forward to kindergarten starting. She needs to play with more kids her own age! Great post!
Tracy

Emily August 9, 2012 at 6:07 am

Thanks, Tracy … the end of naptime is always a rough time – I still miss those nap days sometimes!! :-)

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