Summers Coming! Summers Coming! Growing up this meant long days at the beach playing running bases, hide and seek, and truth or dare. It meant swimming, sunning, and playing. If it was cloudy or windy we still went to the beach and, as long as it wasn’t lightning, and we stayed all day until dinner time. It was great. I never complained to my mother, it would have been a waste of air. We were expected to make our own fun.
As a parent Summers Coming! Summers Coming! Means something entirely else. It means my kids will undoubtedly tell me “I’m bored” a minimum of 1 million times this summer. I will also hear “there’s nothing to do” no less than 500,000 times. Sprinkled in this whine will be the guaranteed “there is no one to play with” at least 250,000 times. What this all translates to me is what I like to refer to as my 3 A’s: Annoyance, Aggravation, and Anger.
Annoyance because we live on over an acre of property that butts up to woods and hiking trails. We can go to a swimming pool to cool off anytime we want, oh and then there is that little place we like to call our cottage. Any and all of these options will be delivered on a silver platter as potential things to do, and will initially be greeted with Yes! Sure! Ok! but by mid-July will instead be the equivalent of eating horse shit.
Aggravation because both of them have so many toys that Toy R Us is going to start asking us to stock their shelves. These are things that were “must have’s” and “I will do anything to get”. These are items that they couldn’t wait to spend their birthday money on. Coveted characters collected with gusto until the entire set was complete. Enough dolls and accessories that I am pretty sure American Girl might ask us to donate to a museum one day. But like in Toy Story, they now lay around forgotten. My kids are growing up and many of the toys are no longer part of the rotation. The million toy march leads to my basement storage room, to be saved forever because “We can’t throw that out or donate it; it’s my favorite!”
Anger because undoubtedly I will hear the two of them arguing about anything and everything. The girl will purposefully get under the boy’s skin with questions and interruptions that she knows will set him free. The boy will make up songs and various ways to torment her that he knows will send his sister into the stratosphere. Deep anger will grow as I will be repeatedly asked by the girl for “something to eat” of which she will eat 3 bites and then proclaim “I’m full”. This will be replayed every 2 hours, on a permanent 10 week loop.
I will shuttle kids from camp to camp, play date to play date, and take on countless errands. I will undoubtedly hear about the horror of spending time with each other during our forced family fun events. They will tell me how this would be so much better if whatever friend they wanted had joined us instead of their sibling. I will most likely melt down and send them to their rooms at least once a week, if not a day. I will count to three about 1,000 times. I will trip over no less than 4 pairs of shoes a day and spend most of my time wiping the bazillion crumbs and shit that are left on the table/counter/floor/faces.
Ahh summer, it use to mean so much to me, now it is just a collection of numbers. My new chant has become School is coming! School is coming!