Summer So Far

The first week or so of our summer break looked like this:

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All joy and bright sun and ocean waves and drippy Spanish moss and new adventures and smiles and salt air.

Our summer started with a very last minute, only slightly thought-out trip to South Carolina. My parents were going to be vacationing there and about two weeks before their arrival date, we decided to join them. We took the kids out of school a couple of days early, threw some swimsuits and beach towels in a bag and hit the road. I think we all benefited from the change of scenery.

And, it looks so, so lovely, doesn’t it? Just like the perfect, idealized version of summer.

The second week or so of our summer break looks like this:

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The contents of Henry and Charlie’s backpacks on the last day of school in a giant floor pile. When they arrived home with bursting bags of school desk detritus, I directed them to a spot in my bedroom where all of their school shrapnel would be out of the way while we prepared for our trip. I figured we would just address all of this upon our return. It’s been almost three weeks now. The pile remains, occasionally changing shape and spreading out a bit in a blob-like fashion. Bob keeps stepping over all of it on the way into our closet and we both have acknowledged that this pile exists and will need to be sorted but neither of us have taken steps to do anything about it. I feel like we’re sort of in the cheese-in-the-suitcase episode of Everybody Loves Raymond here.

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The kitchen table. Where we’re supposed to eat. In fact, most flat surfaces in our home right now look like this. No clean, unobstructed surface is safe. If such a surface is found, it must be immediately covered in Lego, toy soldiers, things kids have borrowed from my desk and not returned or just plain garbage. At this rate, I’m not sure what shape our house is going to be in when school starts back up again but the outlook is not good, folks.

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A kid, still in pajamas at a late-morning hour, relaxing in MY bed watching a small screen for way, way too long. I know I’m supposed to be carefully monitoring their screen time with some sort of clip chart/reward system/chore list but I’m not there yet, guys. I’m still just trying to catch up on laundry from our vacation. I have half-heartedly suggested they play with Lincoln Logs or read a book or run around the outside of the house in racetrack-style but we always seem to circle back to a small screen. I’m not going to win this fight before the fourth of July so I’m just going to make a mental note to try better next month.

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A sink full of dishes. There are never NOT dishes in my sink. Kids home for summer break never stop eating. Never ever. Never. I made a big pronouncement to the entire family that I was only going grocery shopping on Fridays this summer. That’s it. I’m not running to the store for more Doritos or Nutella or bread that doesn’t have little nuts and seeds in it. If we’re out of your favorite foods, tough. You’re going to have to go deep in the pantry cupboards for sustenance and eat the rest of that one box of cereal that inexplicably no one likes (Kix, for the record. No one in my family likes Kix.) We’ll see how long my grocery shopping holdout lasts. We’re dangerously low on peanut butter right now and that’s a dietary staple around here so I’m nervous my plan will backfire.

TELL ME, how’s your summer going?

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