Summer vacation begins in 23 days. The last day of school is circled on our family calendar in blood red. My kitchen table is littered with flyers for karate camp, art camp, tumbling camp, swim lessons and vacation Bible school. I have another dozen websites bookmarked so I can research all of my options for paying through the nose to keep my little darlings entertained, occupied, active and culturally enriched during the 67 days when there is no school. Yes, 67 days. Not 66 or 68…trust me, I counted. Twice.
I know my kids are looking forward to the last day of school because that's what kids do. But I know it won't be long until the my ears hear the complaints of “there's nothing to do” and there will be at least two sticky used popsicle sticks in every room of my house. And maybe it's just my kids but when we don't have to get up early for school, they're raring to go at sunup.
These are the same kids that are “way too tired” on school day mornings, causing me to resort to bribery and threats to get them out of bed. This will never cease to baffle me.
For all you moms out there that are slightly dreading the next few months, here's the seven stages of realizing summer vacation is almost here. I might not have any answers but I can certainly commiserate and laugh a little bit with you:
1. Stage 1 – Shock and denial
“It's just not possible. Spring break was just last week…wasn't it?”
2. Stage 2 – Pain and Guilt
“I'm dreading being home every day with my beloved children. I'm a terrible mother. Let me wash away my guilt with wine and Little Debbies.”
3. Stage 3 – Anger and bargaining
“Those kids aren't going to be under MY feet all day, every day. No way. I'm going to INSIST my husband take a staycation. Share the love, baby.”
4. Stage 4 – Depression
“I. Can't. Even.”
5. The upward turn
“Maybe it will turn out okay after all.”
6. Stage 6 – Reconstruction and working through
I've so got this. Let's do this thing.”
7. And finally, Stage 7 – Acceptance and hope
“It's going to be FUN! I mean, who doesn't like hearing The Leggo Movie play on a continuous loop. Everything is awesome!”
Here's to summer vacation. All 67 days of it. Not much we can do to stop the train now. Here's wishing you a “mostly” stress-free summer. May you not lose your kids at the amusement park and may you not lose your mind.
And be kind to yourself, mamas.