Never when the calendar says “Summer” officially starts.
Kind of like how “Fall” doesn’t officially start until the end of September but really feels like it starts the moment the girls step on the bus.
The fun of “Summer” gets sucked up in bus fumes and school paperwork.
It’s just not any good without my children. I am one of “those” moms who look forward to school break.
Oh yes, there are times I get tired of my girls.
But for me, I like the break from routine that school brings into our home.
The schedules, the homework, the running around that end of August until the beginning of June bring is exhausting.
And I like having my girls with me.
Like a mother bear, I like my tribe surrounding me.
It started out pretty good then went sour fast.
Here is our “Summer” so far in pictures.
Summer started out really great.
Look how happy I am.
Dinner on the patio.
Last day of school bike ride.
Then slowly, summer took an ugly turn.
I got sick.
At my lowest.
And my kids were home to watch it all which made it all the more frustrating.
I couldn’t be “super mom”.
But something amazing happened.
They became compassionate.
And just plain amazing.
All qualities they had all along but needed something like this to bring it to the surface.
When your six-year-old with ADHD sits with you in bed and lets you take an hour nap while she reads, colors and plays Barbies next to you?
I consider that growth on her part.
Donuts make everything better.
So does ice cream.
On a day out in the midst of my illness depression, we all went out for a day trip.
We stumbled upon this park where this team of softball players were in throwback uniforms.
It was perfectly perfect in every way.
I said to my husband, “do you think we are the only ones who can see them??”
Field of Dreams is one of our favorite movies.
At the best ice cream shop ever.
Read this in 12 hours.
Love notes on the garage floor for daddy who works lots of nights.
My girls miss my husband a lot.
Hell, I miss my husband a lot.
Probably a lot more this summer because I have been so out of it.
So when my youngest left this note on the garage floor and said with tears in her eyes, “I miss Daddy just so much”, my heart sunk.
In a good way.
For years I have always worried that the girls wouldn’t be close to him because of his long hours.
That they wouldn’t be bonded.
It couldn’t be farther from the truth.
On his day off, my oldest, a teenager mind you, want him to take them alone to lunch to have time together.
The three of them will sit and watch movies together all day stuffing their faces full of popcorn or Cheetos.
He is the fun one.
I am completely down with that.
A lot of the above.
I made a pledge to myself and to Ellie when we found out she had ADHD back in February.
As much as the school system doesn’t want my child to be “left behind” I think the bulk of it should start at home.
My mission is for her to go into each grade as prepared as I can get her.
There is a normal “slide” for most children over summer but I feel like, for my youngest, it is like climbing a mountain at the beginning of the school year.
Change is hard, getting used to the new classroom, new teacher, new schedule.
All of that will be a huge adjustment for her.
I don’t want to forget words, letters and how to do basic math to be a part of that equation.
So we have been working.
At least four days a week to keep her on top of things.
The beauty of this is that she doesn’t fight me at all.
When I tell her it’s time to do “school,” she says, “OK mom” and comes to the table.
This from the kid who HATED to do homework all school year.
I love this time.
So this is a little selfish too.
I am cherishing this time because in six weeks, she will be somewhere else more than here and that makes me want to cry.
Oh, and we lost a little something too.
Sorry for the National Geographic picture.
And the nose hair.
And the spit line.
And the gory ripped fresh from the gum picture.
I am all about being real.
Maybe a little too real.
So “Summer” is officially here and almost gone.
I am slowwwwwly coming back to my “normal”.
And we are OK.
Pass the s’mores.