I love summer. I do. The lazier mornings. The looser schedules. Hair that’s turned straight-up crunchy from chlorine. That elusive moment the cry of “I’m booooored” succumbs to creativity and unplugged play.
The other day, I found all three kids outside creating some wobbly structure out of discarded toilet paper rolls. Those moments are pure magic.
Unfortunately, summer also seems to bring out the crazy in me. I mean. I guess fall can bring the crazy out in me in equal measure. As can, oh I don’t know, winter and spring. But SUMMER. I feel all of the pressure to do all of the things. Right now. Really well.
Gotta make those memories! Gotta be a “fun mom”! But just don’t go creating a generation of self-absorbed, all-about-them kids!
Lazy days at the pool! But, oh wait! Don’t forget the chore charts and workbooks pages!
Rest! No, play!
Go! No, stay!
Let ’em be bored! No, give them enriching experiences!
Parenting is hard work, y’all.
And if these intrusive thoughts are not enough to get me all flustered, the steady stream of kid questions and musings stand ready to DO ME IN.
For example. Last week, the kids were watching Planet Earth. Naturally, I was feeling pretty good about my mothering because, while some children were frittering away their hours with Pokemon, mine were learning biology. Ecology. Lots of ologies.
Then, it came. “Mom. What’s SPERM?” she yelled. “Sperm, mom, the SPEEEERRRM. What is that?”
Ohmygosh. So much for education; give me Disney Junior. GIVE ME POKEMON.
Later that day, we found ourselves at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Again, I’m feeling pretty smug at this point, patting myself on the bat for having children who could tiptoe around priceless pieces of art without wreaking complete havoc. Children who were interested enough in the artwork to carefully sound out the descriptions of each painting. (Children who now know that “sperm help make babies.” Because we’re very well-rounded around here.)
We wandered through gallery after gallery. We saw mummies. Ancient artifacts. But there was one burning question of the morning that Mary Grace just needed answered.
“Mom. Mommmm. What’s a…” and she pointed at the word in question. “Virgin,” I whispered. No, mom. Let me read it! And she sounded it out. Carefully. Slowly. Loudly. “Vvvviiiirrrginnn. What’s a VIRGIN?”
Y’all. Art galleries are quiet. Art galleries do not generally seem accustomed to young children. Art galleries can hear everything. So, you can imagine that my daughter’s newfound interest in the immaculate conception felt particularly… deafening.
I’m telling you. Summer is exhausting.
So, we’re on the homestretch. T-29 days to be exact (but who’s counting?) 29 days of fun/games/amusement/excitement. 29 more days of unstructured, lock-’em-outside-until-dinnertime play. 29 more days of crunchy pool hair and popsicle-stained mouths. 29 more days of “mommommommommom” on repeat all the day long. 29 more days ’till my countertops are overrun with backpacks and homework and papers to sign and date and return.
We’ve got this, moms of summer. Let’s finish strong.
Though, if I’m completely honest, yesterday’s question du jour (“How do babies get in mommies’ tummies anyway?”) made me a tiny bit doubtful that I can swing another 29 days of Q&A.
“Well, Mary Grace,” Matt said, “God just puts them there.”
“Ew. That’s SO GROSS,” she yelled.
Summer. It’s winding down. So, may these final days and weeks be filled with equal measures of fun and rest. May the hard days be punctuated with easy, early bedtimes. May the easy days linger on as you enjoy the small things. And may you have the good fortune of evading questions that you’re JUST NOT READY TO ANSWER thankyouverymuch.