By Ute Mitchell:
You know this line all too well, don’t you? The summer vacation is here. Three long months of sunny weather, delicious fresh fruits and veggies from your garden or various u-pick farms around town… oh, and the kids. They’re home from school. AND they want to be entertained. You surf the web for activities, indoors and out… near and far… simply and elaborate. You are prepared!! This summer all will be well. This summer the kids will have a blast.
Well… I’ve been asking myself a slightly different question. After all we homeschool… and all the fun and wonderful activities have been crossed off our list throughout the year (minus the berry picking and making preserves… and of course the beach days). My question has been, where on Earth are my kids???
Ever since the summer vacation started a couple of weeks ago, it seems they have moved out. They leave the house at 9:30am and return exhausted, sweaty, and with big smiles on their faces at 6:30pm. You see, we have a very lively neighborhood. On any given day there will be at least 5 children out playing. They ride their bikes and their scooters, they color, they play… they go to the deep dark forest (I’ve mentioned that place here). They want nothing to do with me. Occasionally one will show up, doing the potty dance, or grabbing some water. Then they’re gone again.
What the heck? My house is empty. Terribly, horribly empty. No fighting and fussing. No wanting cookies, fruit, lunch, dinner, or a drink. They don’t want to play games. They don’t ask for rides to X, Y, and Z. They’re gone. And I’m here. They have abandoned me. Is this what public school moms feel like? Is this what I’m missing out on? A silent house with lots of time to… uh… do my
beloved chores??? Well, if that is so, I’m sorry to say it, this sucks! I mean, there are only so many things you can do before you get bored out of your head.
Where is the fun in folding laundry, when nobody bothers you a gazillion times, because they have a burning science question, or need to discuss the various vowels, like short vowels, long vowels, vowel digraphs, and so on? Where is the excitement in preparing lunch without your 8 year old’s begging to help (because it earns screen time these days!)? Where is the challenge when you
secretelyplay Harvest Moon on the Wii, and they discuss with you, that it’s simply not fair that they have to earn screen time, while you get to play whenever you want?
Or wait, could there be something good coming out of all of this loneliness? A clean house, queries written to various magazines, articles finished an entire day before your deadline, and, best of all, R-rated music, that you can’t EVER listen to when they’re home… even in German, because they understand German cussing? So, that’s what that life is like. Quite nice indeed. I guess I’ll take it for as long as it lasts, but I will most definitely be ready to go back to normal… (and only occasionally will I consider driving the kids to the public school down the street to drop them off).
To all of you moms out there, may your summer be as lovely, lonely, busy, fun, exciting, and full of delicious berries as mine is. It’s glorious!