Do you know what my kids started doing this summer? They began to sleep in. This was a miraculous transition that I embraced with every fiber of my being. They woke up happy and well-rested, and so did I. I found out that happy and well-rested kids have better attitudes, play together more effectively, and more importantly, leave me alone for longer periods of time. Being a work-at-home mom, this is what dreams were made of. I was able to get my writing done every single day, and life was glorious until about the first week in August when I realized something awful.
School was starting soon — with its schedules and waking up and *shudder* homework.
I would like this opportunity to formally apologize to someone important in my life: Summer, I take back every bad thing I’ve ever said about you. You are a glorious beast with your sleeping in and lazy days and impromptu trips to the pool. I wholeheartedly apologize for criticizing your lack of schedule and your disorganization and your devil-may-care attitude. I’m so sorry we fought. Please forgive me.
Here are some reasons why summer detox has been real in my family:
1. We’re thrust into the back-to-school schedule.
It’s not like we are all gently led into the land of back-to-school. Nope. One day, you and your children are frolicking in the pool and then the next, you are simply thrust into Back-to-School Night and the PTA ice cream social and soccer games and homework. This is exhausting for someone who hasn’t even worn real shoes for a few weeks.
2. We don’t sleep in.
Did I mention that both of my kids started sleeping in this summer? I don’t mean to brag, but it’s just that I have been waiting for this to happen for 10 long years. Ten years, people.
3. Kids have forgotten all of their getting-ready skills.
My son just stands there in the morning as if he’s in shock that the world actually begins at such an early hour. I say, “Maybe you should put some socks on, son?” and he becomes disoriented, as if I’m speaking a different language, because he hasn’t even heard the word “socks” in three months.
4. There are SO MANY CLOTHES.
They actually have to wear pants on their legs and possibly a light jacket and — oh my god — they just can’t handle all of the fabric in their lives.
5. My lists have lists.
There’s clothes shopping, and school supplies, and haircuts, and snacks, and stuff for lunch and new backpacks and coats and — whoops — we can’t actually afford to eat this week.
6. No more lazy afternoons.
It’s soccer, and dance, and homework and washing all of those damn clothes that everyone has to wear now.
7. Say goodbye to never-ending movie nights.
We can’t stay up late, cuddling on the couch and watching movies because we actually have to wake up in the morning and get our kids to school in order to be “good parents” and “functioning members of society.”
8. Everyone around me is cranky.
I’ll just come out and say it: The humans in my family weather change poorly. We pretend to be excited when all we really want to do is go hide in our beds and hope that all the scary change goes away. So, we resort to cranky. Sorry, world.
So, for all of the families out there who are taking back-to-school pictures and smiling, but are actually lamenting the passing of another summer, I feel you. Let’s just hope our kids remember all that sleeping in when Christmas break rolls around.