Let’s face it, summer is great, but it wears on you after a while. There are only so many s’mores, popsicles and hot dogs you can eat — and fights and/or whiny cries of “I’m bored” you can listen to — before you start longing for back-to-school and back to the routine. Here are my top 5 reasons why I’m glad my son is (finally! What gives, New England?) going back to school next week:
5. Laundry: Is it just me, or is there exponentially more laundry to do in the summer than any other time of year? It’s crazy. I feel like I spend most of my time in our creepy old basement washing clothes.
4. Summer camp shuffle: Rushing to drop-offs and pick ups. Working every chance I get in between. Saying the following things at least 3 times a week: “Does that counselor know CPR? You lost your water bottle again? Oops, I forgot to pack sunscreen.” (And the cost of summer camp — I don’t know about you all, but it adds up fast and pushes our summer budget over the top.)
3. “I’m booooored.” This translates to, “And it’s your job, Mom, to think of something to entertain me.” This drives me absolutely crazy. My standard reply is “Read a book — that’s what I did when I was your age,” to which my son says, “That’s what kids did in the olden days.” His angle is usually that he wants to watch more TV or play video games — all day long. Which is not allowed. So my latest response to the “I’m bored” whine? “Boredom is a problem you need to solve. It’s your responsibility to figure this out.” (He doesn’t like to hear this, but so far it’s been working.)
2. Fighting. Mostly about #3, but it could be anything. My son is like a little lawyer — he loves to argue and will engage us in a fight just because it’s more fun than reading a book. Sigh. “Disconnecting” and remembering that I don’t have to attend every fight I’m invited to helps … but still, not always easy!
1. Serenity. It’s a funny thing, but you can feel both relieved and sad that something is over at the same time. When my son goes back to school, it’s like I can breathe again. Don’t get me wrong, I love him to death and will most likely be blue for a few weeks after he’s back in school, but on the other hand…ahhhh.
Elisabeth Wilkins is the Editor of EP and the mother of one 10-year-old son. Currently, she is doing a happy dance in her living room.
About Elisabeth Wilkins
Elisabeth Wilkins was the editor of Empowering Parents and the mother of an 10-year-old son. Her work has appeared in national and international publications, including Mothering, Motherhood (Singapore), Hausfrau, The Bad Mother Chronicles, and The Japan Times. Elisabeth holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine.