It’s here. The day parents dread. A day that kids and teachers eagerly await. The day that signals the end of all free time or time that I will be able to work in peace. A relic of a forgotten time. It has arrived. Today is the last day of school.
I was excited the first time the last day of school disappointment arrived. I had dreams of the parks we would visit, the museums, full days playing in the sun with my girls. It was going to be great and I could not wait. School ended and we excitedly dove into my list. We played outside. We went to the park, the pool, library and the museum. It was great. We were busy, but we were having fun. It also only took about 6 days to exhaust the list.
Then it started. The activities I was so excited about quickly lost their luster. The girls started picking at each other and fighting more. It was then that I first heard what has become the chat that defines every summer. “I’m bored”. We weren’t even a month into our three-month adventure how was I going to make it fun?
I tried. I found new events and scheduled play dates. The fighting and the repetitive chanting of “I’m bored” only increased. Finally, we made it to July 4th. A holiday the rest of America celebrates as the birth of our country. Parents we celebrate that as the day of giving up. Why do yo think we drink so much that day?
Parents are done. No more planned activities. The kids are on their own. They are left to play/fight in the back yard. We get up each day counting down the days until these little monsters can go back.
This year, with a little bit more experience to draw from I am not as excited for summer. I know what is waiting for me this summer. For once, my wife and I are prepared. My wife and I enrolled the girls in a plethora of summer programs and camps. I like to think this is an attempt to make summer slightly less traumatic for me. But most likely it is to at least a small part of the house from being trashed.
Instead of staying with me all day, my girls will be attending dance programs and YMCA camps. They will be busy in swim lessons and art camp. My wife didn’t tell me what these programs cost and I’ll be honest, I don’t want to know. Whatever the cost is, it is equal to my sanity. I think that makes it worth it.
So to all the parents out there getting ready for summer break good luck. Know I am suffering with you. It won’t be too long until they can go back to school and we all can breathe a sigh of relief. Stay strong on this last day of school. I wish you the best and hopefully, you will hear the greatest thing a parent can hear in the summer. A kid only invitation to a playdate, at someone else’s house.