Summer Dreams, Ripped At The Seams

My youngest son pooped on his floor yesterday.

Probably because I bragged to my friend just hours before how easy he has been to potty train.

I am not gifted at many things, but eating my words is a skill about which I am practically a professional.

When I was a new mom and had one teeny baby, I remember a mom of five children telling me she had to sweep her kitchen everyday. I remember remarking to Brett how unfortunate it is that her kids were so disgusting and thankfully I would teach my kids better.

We all know where this is going.

Because if there are more disgusting children on the planet than  mine, I haven’t met them.

Not only do I have to sweep my kitchen everyday, but I could mop it three times a day…and you would still stick to the floor should you drop by for a visit.

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

My oldest son (who fortunately hasn’t pooped on the floor in quite some time) picked his nose and wiped his booger in my hair. Last week.

My soul may have died a little.

These children. Their grossness. Their mess. I am having a hard time coping with it. And it feels particularly worse in the summer.

This is the thing about summer. I always have grand notions of what summer will be like. My expectations of summer haven’t changed much since the 90’s when all I had was copious amounts of time and copious amounts of Banana Boat Tanning Oil.

I expect summer to be relaxing and fun…lingering by the pool late into the day…smiles and laughter to abound.

When I walk into this, however…
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I realize I realllllllly need to change my perspective.

I am not a teenager anymore, and I can’t expect my summers to be endless hours of relaxation.

The little people must eat.
They must expend energy.
They must, it seems, destroy my house on the daily.
Because playing outside is short lived due to the fact that Florida is an inferno of humidity.

As with most every aspect of motherhood, adjusting my expectations is necessary to survival.

I homeschool and am with my kids most every minute of most every day. And in the school year, we maintain some level of sanity in our home. So I wouldn’t expect summer to be that much different.

It totally is, though.

Summer is most definitely fun. My kids and I have created some really great memories this summer. We do linger by the pool some days, and we have taken full advantage of the free activities at the library. They eat approximately 37 popsicles a day, and showers have become optional. So it is even relaxing at times.

But every summer I am caught off guard by how chaotic the days become…how much my kids fight…how grouchy my even-more-than-usual disgusting house makes me…and how freaking hot it is outside.

I don’t know if I am making a point or just venting.

I want to love summer. I love the break from school. I love the long nights and the slow mornings. I love the emptiness of our schedule.

But I don’t love who I am in the summer. I don’t love how annoyed I feel at everything: the mess, the bickering, the hot. I don’t love that the last time my kids ate a vegetable was probably April (unless you count potato chips). I don’t love being annoyed at myself for being annoyed at everything.

So I guess I am finding my way to a point. There is still a lot of time in the summer. And I am going to find a way to embrace the crazy without going crazy. Because I don’t want to wish it away. I want to enjoy the time summer affords me with my kids. I want to play a few extra rounds of Old Maid. I want to go to the park even if I nearly sweat to death.

I want to make the most of these fleeting days.

I need to throw away my proverbial Banana Boat ideal of summer and slather on the much more appropriate SPF 30 perspective of what summer with a gaggle of children looks like.

Messy. Sticky. Loud. And a lot of fun.

Basically the opposite of laying out by the pool, drinking Dr. Pepper, and checking out hot guys.

That’s not entirely true. I still check out the hottest guy at my pool.
Tell me about your summer: Does the chaos catch you off guard?? Or do you totally love it all?? Or some combination of both??

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2 thoughts on “Summer Dreams, Ripped At The Seams

  1. Great post! It seems like it’s been so long since my girls were little and summers were crazy. Yes, i homeschooled too so they were already always with me. Now they want to do their own things or life is filled with soccer games. I definitely wish I was more laid back and spontaneous when my girls were little.

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  2. That looks like my son’s room did today. I have the same exact feelings about summer. I’ve finally succumbed to summer camps. A day here and there, just to bring sanity in my life. I wish we had a pool. My kids don’t care for the library activities. They like water. And ice cream. And Popsicles. I only have two. A 10yo daughter and 7yo boy. The boy makes the mess of about 3-4 kids though. Can’t wait until August for homeschooling and structure to come back!!!

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