As the school year winds down, I am finding that it's not just the kids who are insanely excited for the final day of school -- and for the many long hot days of summer that will soon follow. But the kids do take year-end very seriously. It seems like all kids keep a countdown, and in our house, my kids not only keep a verbal countdown that is discussed every hour on the hour, at the table during every meal, on the way TO and FROM the bus stop each day, but they also keep a written version of the countdown on a paper calendar. I can only assume that is meant as a “double check” to break up any sort of sibling end-of-school-year-countdown discrepancies. Oh, and they also mention it as their final thought each night as I tuck them into bed -- because I may have forgotten how few days of school are now left, don't you know.
Oh goodness ... Lord knows how any work gets done in school anymore. If my kids are incessantly discussing the final days of school at home, I can only imagine how a teacher manages a classroom full of these "broken records"! God bless teachers. I really admire them!
So, despite the kids’ monotonous end of school topic, I also find myself extremely excited that summer is just around the bend! Yes, moms get excited too. Typically, whenever the subject of the end of school is raised among my peers, I express MY OWN sheer excitement for daily sleep-ins, no set schedule, no more homework or rigid bedtimes, and no more lunch packing, to which I always receive some raised eyebrows -- and even a few incredulous glances and some possible glares. These types of responses always confuse me a bit. “Why is she looking at me like I'm feigning my excitement?” I think to myself.
It took me a few years, but finally I realized that it's only natural that EVERYONE would automatically assume that I -- especially me -- a mom of EIGHT kids, would most enjoy the school year when I “have an eight-hour break” from my kids every day. Okay, so I see how that conclusion could easily be drawn, but ... I have news for all of you:
I LOVE HAVING MY KIDS AT HOME! Ta da! I love the extra time that we have. No rush, no schedule. We can be “lazy” and last minute. We can go to a playground on a whim. We can hold long, unrushed (yes, I am aware “unrushed” is not a word and I don't care) discussions about why we like “fat bees” better than the types of bees with stingers. We can plan a trip to the beach overnight. We can eat dinner at 8 p.m. after splashing in the pool all day. And, if we so choose, we can even eat ice-cream for dinner (a long standing family summer tradition!). We can sleep in and skip breakfast and replace it with brunch -- any day of the week.
... Ahhhh the lazy days of summer. Seriously, I just cannot wait. According to my current calculations, we have 8 days, 3 hours, and 19 minutes until summer break starts. But who's counting (other than the kids), right?
Moms, are you as excited as your kids are for summer break?
Image via Kate Gosselin