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The survival of this summer business

I knew it in the back of my mind. Never saying a word. Because peer pressure exists in motherhood too.


When there were just a few weeks of school left (in June!), the nagging thoughts were there. Summer seemed like an awful lot of days.


I’d already experienced no-school days. Last winter delivered more snow days than should be allowed. Maybe we could make our school buses double as snow plows. Think on that.


So, when summer came I asked myself, "what am I going to do with this child 24/7?" We intentionally left the calendar open because one of the #1 things I want for our daughter is an ability to be OK by herself.


But she’s an only. And let’s face it, alone time isn’t that hard to come by when it’s just you.


This mama loves routine. The older I get, the more it’s a security blanket all my own. Wrap me up in the familiar and color me happy. That’s not to say I don’t long for a spontaneous weekend road trip. Or unexpected company.


One or two days maybe. But this summer break thing. Week after week. I knew.


We did a brand new school in our new community last year. And it was good. Went so well I wasn't sure I wanted to see it go. I know teachers need a break. Kindergarten must come to an end.


Then, the summer thing went great. Trips to the beach, free movies, play dates, frolicking with all the farm animals, ice cream, campfires, vacations, camp, VBS. All in those remaining few weeks of June.


True Michiganders, we ODed on summer. Proved once again you can’t beat Michigan weather in June, July and August. Fiercely denying we even have winters.


One summer highlight was theater camp. At school. A fine performance of Annie. She’s still singing the songs. Indeed, aren’t we all? Because you’re never fully dressed without a smile...


Now, I am reading posts on social media and some blog articles about how parents are ready to send their kids back to school.


The Survival Of This Summer Business


Like these words from Jen Hatmaker

My Beginning of Summer Attack Plan has atrophied. We are no longer cooking delicious new recipes together. Caleb had Lays potato chips for breakfast yesterday. At the crack of 11:15. The wheels have come off, dear ones. I did my part: the fun camps, the trips, the pool, the lake, the snow cones, the Good Times, and now it is all dead to me. I’ve reached to the outer limits of my capabilities, and we are now in the black hole of what I call “the screw-its.”


Oh, and we promise to make healthy lunches. Volunteer in the classrooms. We’ll gladly reinstate bedtime! Just get us back to a routine. Even homeschoolers are ready for their world to gain some structure.


Thankfully, Allie is starting to wonder too. She expressed some nerves about first grade. All the while excited to be back with her friends. Preparing herself. 


We won’t talk about how many days we still have to wait. 


Every day I walk to our mailbox. I peek inside hoping for a sign that the school is ready for us too. Where is our orientation letter? What teacher will try to replace our kindergarten teacher (as if)? School supply list please. The first signs of getting back to a real to-do list.


Because a part of me has waited all summer for this. Routine. Schedule. No more going to bed before my daughter.


And I know you’re finally with me. The reality of kids unleashed for days on end has settled in all around you. Let’s get back to being adults. Right?


I told you so.


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