It's Summertime! Quit Your B*tchin'!

by Susannah B. Lewis
Originally Published: 

Dear spoiled suburban children of America:

I have a simple request for you, ok? Quit your bitchin’.

OK. Maybe it’s ugly to tell a child to quit bitchin’. Maybe you prefer to speak the following words in a soft and gentle and nurturing tone.

“Little Damien, please cease your whining.”

“Little Labyrinth, please mute your discontent.”

“Little Aspen-Elizabeth-Alyssa-Abigail-Bradley-Jessica-Leigh, please stifle your unhappiness.”

But, let’s call it what it really is. It’s bitchin’ and you know it.

Summer is here, kids, and it should be a hap-hap-happy time for us all.

There’s no waking up at the anus crack of dawn to burn a Toaster Strudel. No mummifying yourself in twelve layers of fleece and stuffing Kleenex into your pockets to smear that green phlegm that drips from thy nostril. No homework or tests or cafeteria spaghetti with a side of chocolate milk because Mama forgot to pack your lunch.

It’s summertime! Why you gots to be bitchin’?

You’re bored? Oh, I see. Bored.

You’ve been spoiled rotten with ice-cream cones, cheap China-made toys and thirty -three rounds of pool categories. Isn’t that good enough for you? Can’t that tide you over for a mere 21 seconds?

Why must the youth of today have to be CONSTANTLY entertained? Let me sum up all of my childhood summer vacations, okay?

Florida for one week, nothing for the other six.

That’s right. Nothing. No camps, no crafts, no clubs. Nothing. I did nothing.

I may have done nothing, but I wasn’t bored.

I went swimming. I rode my bike. I caught bugs in a jar and fed them to young vulnerable cousins. I made stuff out of sticks and grass clippings. I had a few slumber parties. I watched TV until I fell asleep. I drank Slush Puppies by the trough. I ate squeeze cheese out of the can and played Tetris and talked on the phone about boys and the new “Ernest” movie starring Jim Varney.

That wasn’t boring. That was living.

Summertime and the living is easy. That’s right. Easy. The opposite of hard. Easy.

Nowadays kids can’t just swim in the pool and work on their handstand. No. They need you to call over 14 friends and spend 12 grand at Wal-Mart on noodles.

They can’t play baseball in the back yard. No, no, no. They need you to shell out 245 bucks for them to attend some kind of camp to learn how to throw a curve on the ball that will ultimately end up barreling through Mr. Lowenstein’s living room window.

They can’t have one slumber party. Nope. They need to invite at least 5 different kids over every night of the week or lightning bolts, locusts and toads may start falling from the sky.

They can’t make crap out of sticks and dandelions. No, they have to have a $25 craft set from Hobby Lobby and 14 boxes of macaroni. Then they need you to help them put all that stuff on a string for 3 hours.

They can’t just chill the h-e-double hockey sticks out and enjoy their Summer vacation. They have to be stimulated. They have to be in the presence of at least one other child and siblings don’t count.

Hey, let’s go to the beach for a week. That’ll give us something to do. We will make memories that last a lifetime. It’ll quiet the kids’ bitchin’ for a few days.

Fast forward three days later… Your kids are bitchin’ because you won’t buy that 23 dollar dolphin snow globe at Alvin’s Island. They’re bitchin’ because they want a corn dog and this place only has shrimp poppers. They’re bitchin’ because it’s too hot. The beach is too sandy. The car ride is too long. The sharks are circling their banana boat. (Jaws fans? Anyone?)

They are engulfed in warm salty breezes. They stand on a balcony overlooking the vast ocean as it laps onto the white sandy beach. They hold souvenirs- an inflatable palm tree, an overpriced pail and bucket and beautiful brightly colored beaded jewelry- and they’re bitchin’.

Hark! Children of America! Take heed!

There’s never been another generation as spoiled as you. With your iPods and iPads and iDon’tKnowWhatTheHeckThisDoesButIAskedForItAndMyMomBoughtItForMeAnyway, Please, I beg of you, Quit your bitchin’!

At least until August.


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