I’ve recently compared summer vacation to pregnancy: at first it’s all fun and exciting and hopeful and not so bad. Then you reach the end and you’re thinking, “Drug me up, cut me open, do what you gotta do, just get it out.”
I was hopeful in June. A long weekend at a family wedding was great fun, and a week at the beach put us to the halfway mark of the month. We were on our way to a fun, successful summer.
July was pretty much over in a flash. The kids were at my parents’ house for ten days, then a week later two of my three were at church camp for a week. Again – half of the month was gone! The week with Ada proved to be more challenging than expected; she had no one to talk to but me. And she knows when you aren’t actively listening. And she wants to be with me. Always. In my bed. At work. Talking to me through the bathroom door. I get it, the poor kid was lonely, but holy dang.
Then August. Hallelujah, August. Praise Jesus, we’re all still alive, it’s August.
August brought with it things like sugar in my driveway “to feed the ants, mom.” And a freshly minted ten-year-old who is amazingly good at this new life skill of being a preteen.
August brought things like my refusal to cook lunch, because I cook breakfast and supper. (I really do cook breakfast – eggs, oatmeal, toast, sometimes bacon or sausage, sometimes pancakes. I can hang up the apron at lunchtime I think.) The response from the circus was blank stares and utter confusion. August brought such incredible eye rolls I was afraid eyeballs might come lose in those disrespectful little heads.
I’d say the labor started the last week of summer break. And lasted the entire week. The 9-year-old boy woke up crabby every single stinking day. It got so bad that my husband said, “I think he’s going through a growth spurt that makes him stupid.” Of course he didn’t say this within earshot of children. There were no kind words or kind voice to be had from the boy, so there were privileges removed and chores added. Contractions…
The 10-year-old got mad that she had to wear the bike helmet she no longer liked and “would rather be unsafe than be the laughing stock of the neighborhood”…she shouted for all to hear. And when I calmly reminded her that riding a bike means wearing a helmet, she rode her bike outside of her boundary and wailed in someone else’s yard so everyone would see how terrible her life is. Contractions…
Then Monday, August 19th, it finally happened. The labor was over. As other parents walked their children into school and snapped pictures…I rolled through the carpool line and shouted “Have a good day!” as I kept on driving. Then I went home to a quiet house. I did nine loads of laundry. I watched non-cartoons. I ate lunch on the couch because there were no little eyes to spy me breaking the rule. I was recovering.
I will also give much thanks and credit to our babysitter who watched my circus 15 hours a week over summer vacation so I could still work, essentially ensuring that all three of my children survived to August 19th. Thank you, Zach!