Back in yon day, school started at the end of August. My poor friend Teri has a late-August birthday and many of her special days were completely ruined by the first or second day of school.

Not anymore. My kids are still home, thanks to some recent Michigan legislation that forces public schools to begin on the Tuesday following Labor Day. Our social media feeds show kids from other states already back in the classroom; the shine has worn off the new backpacks and the bus drivers have mastered their routes.

The sunflowers are ready, so that means we should be back to school. But we're not. Huh.
The sunflowers are ready, so that means we should be back to school. But we’re not. Huh.

Not in our house. In our house we’ve moved beyond summer fun to holy-crap-we’re-out-of-things-to-do. This is actually the first summer I’m not the one going crazy. The kids are finally old enough that they neither want nor need my constant, hovering attention. They’re just fine without me for hours on end. I’ve had complete thoughts and time to myself for the first summer since 2003. I feel like a new woman!

No, it’s the kids who are losing it. They’ve lost that summer glow. They’ve lost their wills to live. They’ve done all the swimming and the biking and the ice cream eating. Audrey’s dying to see her friends. Caleb’s dying to get back to the math. (That last part is a total lie.)

This was Audrey two years ago. That was the same face she made at me yesterday, minus the goggles and the pool.
This was Audrey two years ago. That was the same face she made at me yesterday, minus the goggles and the pool.

Yesterday they came with me to the office and Audrey sat in the visitor’s chair across from my desk. She stared sullenly at me for many consecutive minutes, until I finally cried, “Get out of here! You’re making me crazy!”

“But what can I do? I’m so bored,” she whined.

“I don’t care! I don’t care! Go take a nap on a couch. Take your brother and walk to Walgreen’s. I don’t care, just stop staring at me!”

I left them home alone today. They’ve probably watched six straight hours of television and had Fruity Pebbles for lunch, washed down with brownies and chocolate milk.

Come back, Mr. Bus. Come back!
Come back, Mr. Bus. Come back!

Fine. As long as I don’t have to see it directly, I don’t care. We’re in survival mode for the last free week.

Jen Hatmaker recently wrote a blog post for Parenting, and she put it like this:

Part of the reason Back to School is such a shock treatment is because we’ve spent the majority of our summer basically running a frat house. No schedules, no bedtimes, no fixed mealtimes, no mental development, no worries. What? You want cereal for lunch? At 2:30pm? Fine. It’s a free country. Summer Happy Hour starts in an hour and a half, so you just do you, man.

Amen, Jen Hatmaker. Amen.

While we  haven’t spent the entire summer in Frat House Mode, I think a week won’t kill us. At this point it’s all about simple survival, and praying we all make it out alive.

How’s it going at your house?

2 Comments on Because at the End of the Summer We Simply Hope for Survival

  1. David
    August 27, 2015 at 5:46 pm (2 years ago)

    Well it is school summer holiday in England until 7 September. Not that we have had a summer. I’m not sure that I shouldn’t be building an ark.

    John started badly by being bored during the visit we made to my parents, but then went up on the train to Scarborough to stay with Nick and Anna for a week before we joined him there so he enjoyed that. Then he went to Soul Survivor, and this week and two days next week he has pre-season rugby training. All in all I think he’s survived.

    We are still recovering from having a house full of family over a seven-day period, peaking at ten last Sunday and Monday. Now we are back to three of us until Beth comes home again for three days next week. Marilyn has just about finished the laundry from all of our visitors.

    John would eat cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner if we let him.

    August 27, 2015 at 11:07 pm (2 years ago)

    Pretty much the same. The younger admits he’s ready to go back. The older one is not there yet. Damn youtube!