Last week it hit me like a ton of bricks. As the temperatures rise, and school days became progressively less educational, that combination can mean only one thing – summertime.
As a child, I remember thinking “Yes! Finally, it’s here!” when the end of May rolled around. Back when I was a youngster living in the Crescent City, summer break meant snowballs on the riverfront, trips to the Gulf Coast, and (best of all) no schedules! It was a carefree time of year that I looked forward to every year, except for swim team – I didn’t love that.
Then I came across a funny meme that said “Dear Moms, tag – you’re it! Love, the teachers.” While I like to think I’m giving parenthood my best all 12 months, I’d be lying not to admit that school and teachers help make my life easier and take the edge off. So as I read the meme, I chuckled … and then gave myself a sideways smile.
Hmm, now what?
What are we going to do with our days? How can I possibly entertain three tiny humans (with three very different age groups) for the next three to four months? How much of the summer needs to spent on the summer reading list? Should we work on math? Can a 2-year-old do math? And, oh right, I better make sure Charlotte can learn how to write her name before Pre-K starts because I don’t want her to fall behind the other kids in her class.
And just like that, the fun of summer is entirely absorbed by the expectations of their futures … or is it? The truth is that we’re going to have to work on some reading, some writing, and some math. They’ve worked hard all year long to develop their new-found skills, and I don’t want my laziness to derail their progress. However, we can’t have all work and no play. So I’m going to try to go tit-for-tat. Read for half an hour, have a water balloon fight. Work on double-digit subtraction, blow bubbles at the dogs. Practice penmanship, make some pudding pops.
Like every parent, I want the best for my kids. I want them to be smart, but I also want them to be kids. I want them to look back on the summers of their youth and think happy thoughts. I want to help grow their minds, but I also want them to feel the freedom.
Lastly: Dear teachers, we love you, enjoy your well-deserved break, and we’ll see you in August (hopefully with a tan)!
Jordan Schupbach is a mother of three living in the Houston area. She blogs at www.lattesandliving.com - sharing the good, the bad and the frenzied.