Five door slams. Eleven “MOM!” screams. A half-gallon of ice cream, a pint of strawberries, two bags of chips and one extra kid.
Two days of summer break down: how many more to go?
Over the years I think I’ve gone through a wide range of Parental Summer Break Expectation phases:
▪ It’s All New, Excited
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▪ Hopeful and Prepared
▪ Exhausted and Sort of Prepared
▪ Not Prepared, Wing it
And this year’s entry into the emotional rainbow:
▪ Wait? What? Already?
Other than a middle-of-winter planned summer vacation, I really didn’t do anything to get ready. To be honest I didn’t even see it coming.
“We have one week for you and I to hang-out, Mom,” college daughter said after her last final.
“Before what?” I sincerely asked.
“Before the boys get out.”
I raced to the calendar, could it be possible?
It was. There were seven spaces between that Friday and the one marked Last Day of School.
After a momentary panic I relaxed with a vision of a slow paced, quiet morning-ed, unstressed summer.
“The kids are older, more self-sufficient. Don’t question it, Susan, you have this.”
My daughter and I spent our boy-free time watching Harry Potter movies and doing geeky things only we like, then we welcomed the boys home on Friday. The weekend transition to life-easy and breezy was keeping with my vision — I did have this!
Then the official first day hit, hard. By the end I was questioning where the day went and why it didn’t match my dreamy vision.
The second day wasn’t any better and I questioned what End of Summer Susan would be like because Beginning of Summer Susan was losing her halo of optimism and summer joy.
Day three dawned and my hopeful vision for summer had faded to black but I wondered what theirs looked like. I hadn’t factored their expectations into my summer dream. Before the daily chaos started, my kids, the extra sleepover 11-year-old friend, Tryce, and I ate breakfast and played a game of Three Questions.
“What did you think during the last half hour of school?”
Noah started off sassy. “(Bleep) (bleep) (bleep), I’m out.”
Tryce didn’t cuss but followed suit. “I never have to come to this place again.”
Bekah didn’t even remember her last class.
“It was only a week ago,” I said and got a blank stare in return. Ahh, college.
Soon-to-be senior Luke fist pumped, “Heck yeah, I didn’t fail!” Aim high, Son.
“What are you looking forward to this summer?”
“Fishing, not learning, binging on fishing, late nights,” Noah paused to think. “Did I say ‘fishing’?”
Tryce’s expectations were simple. “Swimming, no snow. I’m a summer person, I’m happy.”
“Lots of umpiring,” Luke said, “and feeling free but wanting to go back because I like school.” Teenage boys always surprise us, don’t they?
Bekah was really honest. “Being lazy, very lazy and reading outside instead of inside.”
“Do you have a summer goal?”
Noah kept with his theme. “Catch my personal best carp, 49 pounds.” Sure, Buddy.
Tryce’s was ambitious. “Persuade my dad to let me watch Purge Three.”
“Did you watch one and two?” I asked.
While Luke’s mouth said, “Get in better shape cardiovascularly. Better stamina.” his eyes said, “Football. Football. Football.”
Bekah was the only one who was looking forward to the vacation I had planned. “My Goal is to get to my New England paradise … and if Luke screws it up for me, I’ll kill him.”
Even though my vision of summer was still messy, knowing theirs got my Summer Is Here emotions ordered:
▪ We Have This Hopeful