Friday, August 7, 2015

Wrapping Up Summer

For many weeks leading up to the end of the school year, and thus the start of summer vacation, we count down the days with great anticipation.  The last day of school is an amazing and joyful day, and our thoughts are consumed with all of the relaxing and fun summer activities are upon us.  Birds are chirping, butterflies are flitting, and beautiful flowers are blooming.  It seems like it doesn't take long before reality sinks in, you start feeling like banging your head against the wall, and you realize you are secretly counting down the days until the kids go back to school.  Oh, is that just me?  I can't imagine that I'm in the minority here am I?

I've become quite the creature of habit in my adult years, and as much as it pains me, I need some structure that summer just doesn't provide.  I used to think I was a "fly by the seat of your pants" kind of girl, but I guess I'm just not.  As it turns out, my kids really aren't either.  My younger self surely is shaking her head at all of my lists, calendars (yes multiple), and ability to plan things months and years in advance.  I just like to know what's coming, OK?  

Christmas vacation is great.  It is just the right amount of time to relax, get some stuff done, and then send the kids back to school right around the time they start fighting with each other non stop.  I'm not one to entertain my kids at all times (see this post for more of an explanation), but unless you plan at least few things here and there, everyone seems to lose their minds mid summer.  We keep pretty busy with some vacations and also with sports stuff over the summer, but in between that, things get a little crazy.  My son would be perfectly happy if he could just hang out at home doing whatever he wants at all times.  My daughter wants to be around people all the time and has a never ending need to "go do something."  This leads to lots of disagreements and bickering between the kids, and leads me to that banging my head against the wall place I mentioned earlier.  I'd be happy with a nice mixture, of some days with nothing to do mixed in with some busy days in between.  I'd also love to just go run errands or do things that I want to do without opposition from the kids.  I think these are things only found in fairy tales though.

I felt like I was doing pretty well for most of the summer, but as I write this, I realize that it is because the first half of our summer was very full of scheduled plans.  I had lots of things I could put on a calendar and be able to stick to a pretty solid routine.  I keep a calendar on my phone that is linked to my husband's calendar, and I also keep a dry erase calendar on the refrigerator.  At the end of each month, I erase everything and write in all of our daily happenings for the next month.  I look at it multiple times a day and like to think I always know what's going on.  From the end of the school year, until the first week of July, our calendar was very full.  Dance classes, dance recital, baseball, a couple vacations, races my husband was running, etc.  Every day had something written on it.  When I did the July calendar, we hardly had anything.  Literally nothing other than baseball practice and games.  It made me feel uneasy, and I'll admit to several moments of panic because I kept feeling like I was forgetting to be somewhere.  I guess I work better if I have a solid routine to follow, even though I always thought I could just wing it and be fine. 

Carefully planned schedules and "To Do" Lists make me happy.  

The last part of July and this first part of August I've been a hot mess.  The lack of  things on the calendar apparently turned me into a complete idiot and I have (hopefully temporarily) lost my ability to handle any sort of scheduling.  In the last week or so, I've managed to over book too many things to count.  I'm not sure if that nearly blank July calendar sent me into the mindset of "oh we have nothing going on, that works great!" or what my problem is, but I've made some ridiculous scheduling errors.  I signed my daughter up for a two week session of swimming lessons (the last session available, because I forgot to sign her up for the previous session), and they asked me "Would you like to sign her up for a half session or the full session?"  What that turned into was "Here take my full session payment, but she'll really only come the first week because I don't remember that I already have her signed up for a mandatory dance camp during the second week."  After that I ended up having to cancel a hotel reservation for this weekend.   My son has a three day soccer tournament out of town and I somehow booked two things, in two different cities on Saturday.  It isn't easy to be two places at once, so I'll have to drive back and forth a couple times instead of getting to stay overnight. Oh, and the Friday night we were supposed to stay at the hotel, I also realized I was going to have to skip my Bunco group (which has been on my calendar since May, and is also my rare night out alone) because we'll be at the soccer tournament.  After figuring out everything for this weekend, I thought I had my shit together.  That was until a day this week at 5:20pm, where my husband called and said something along the lines of "Did J get to soccer ok today?" in reference to his practice that starts at 5:00pm.  My answer to this was a flustered "Shit, no, I forgot to take him.  We are leaving right now."  He thought I was joking, but I was totally serious.  No big deal, only 30 minutes late to practice.  My mind is on vacation, and I really need it back.

I find it so funny how many things we look forward to, and then by the time we actually there, we count down the days until it is over.  In the winter we are too cold and can't wait for warmer weather, in the summer we are just too hot and can't wait for fall.  At this point, I don't care about the temperature, I just want to be able to use my brain again.  Hopefully it coincides with the kids going back to school.  In the meantime, I hope my friends and family have some patience with me.  12 more days till school starts!

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