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One Last Lesson of the School Year

School's out for the summer, and I have mixed emotions about it. I tried to make a Pro and Con list to decide which was better.

But that was too hard, so I just made a Con list to decide which was worse.

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So which is worse? It's a toss-up - or at least it was,  until I got the final lesson of the school year, which totally made up my mind. In my debut as a STAFF WRITER on In The Powder Room (See? I am too employable, former employers!), I revealed the huge pet peeve that pushed me over the edge. Reprinted with permission, here's the article in full...

Last Lesson of the School Year

There's much teeth-gnashing and hand-wringing in Parentland lately, and it's all thanks to school. Or, more accurately, the lack of school — because summertime has descended upon us yet again.

"How will we fill these endless, unstructured days, stretching out until the last rays of sunlight finally disappear over the horizon at 1:00 in the morning?" we ask ourselves. "What will our kids do without the constant routine? The constant contact with other children?"

Panic sets in. We worry about how they'll stay entertained without their brains completely rotting by September. Sure, we enjoy trips to the zoo, the playground, afternoons in the sprinkler. But sometimes, as we respond bleary-eyed to another pre-sunrise request for cereal, in the back of our minds the timer ticks backwards, edging us ever closer to the perceived bliss of another school year.

When I think I can't take the constant declarations of boredom and announcements that "So-and-so hit me! He won't let me watch my favorite cartoon! Also, I'm still bored!" and I find myself wishing they could spend more time surrounded by classmates who share their zeal for booger references, I remember what happened at school pick-up a few days ago.

I had collected my children and we were about to start the walk home, when my daughter spotted a friend. They squealed and ran toward each other, as though they hadn't already spent the entire day attached at the hip, and I heard the other girl's mother yell, "Don't hug her!" Then, by way of explanation, she nodded toward her daughter and said to me, "She's really sick."

Oh, she is? Great. I'm thrilled they just had eight hours together to share suckers, take turns kissing pictures of One Direction, and hug with wild abandon in the absence of your reminders that she might be harboring plague germs.

Quicker than you can say "incubation period," summer break had begun — and with it came sniffles. Then sneezes. A low-grade fever, and piles of used tissues. And of course my toddler, who has no personal boundaries and refuses to listen to plague-related warnings, was soon red-nosed and cranky, too.
Wait, remind me again why I wanted the kids to be packed into a confined space with their touchy-feely, infectious friends all day?

The kids are one the mend, but it was a parting gift I hope to remember — the last lesson of the school year. I'll try not to wish them back into their desks, even though I'm losing my voice from scream-singing twice a day to drown out the ice cream man's music. I'll try not to grumble about how I wish our house had a janitor every time they leave wet swimsuits in a mildewing pile on the carpet. I'll try to be grateful for every minute of this break — because time with my children is precious, and also because, all too soon, I'll be getting a call from the school nurse and wishing it was summer again.

I hope you enjoyed yourself while you were here - and I hope you come back! Please share inappropriate giggles with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a thing!


Jean said...

I'm a teacher and I hope you're not offended that I get a certain sick satisfaction reading about summer vacation from parents. :)

Gerard Welling said...

Comment redacted due to the family un-friendly nature of its content.

Robyn of HollowTreeVentures said...

Why doesn't that surprise me?

rorybore said...

That last one...single me who was going to have a house decorated worthy of a Better Homes magazine spread?? Garbage bags on the windows to make it dark at 8 pm. yep.

Robyn of HollowTreeVentures said...

Oh, if only I could have 5 minutes alone with Single Me. I would laugh in her face so hard for 4 minutes and 58 seconds, then just say, "You'll see."

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