Tomorrow is the last day of instruction for my school. Next week is exams followed by graduation. My three finish school next Friday, Sissy and AB "graduating" from grade school. Then before me lies another long, hot summer with bored, arguing children that have gotten older, stronger, mouthier and less tolerant of, well, everything in the universe. Somehow, in the midst of that I'll have to figure out tutoring and possibly teaching summer school.
The days grow long and I feel myself being pulled to the memories of my own childhood summers, playing badminton and volleyball using the clothes line as the net. Catching fireflies. Star gazing. Watching summer thunderstorms roll in from the corner of the corn field to our back yard while we sat on the covered porch savoring the smell of the rain and the cool wind on our faces. Fourth of July in the park, walking to the library for more Agatha Christie novels. Sleep overs. Hanging laundry on the clothesline and forgetting to take it off before dusk and the June bugs clung to the cotton fibers of your shorts as though their very lives depended upon it. Mowing the tall green grass that was thicker than a carpet. Watching bunnies hop out from under the shed in the early morning. Listening to the corn grow.
I wish my childhood summer memories could be my children's memories. Instead, it will be another summer of therapists marching in and out, approaching every conflict with a therapeutic flair, listening to Sissy whine or scream or tantrum and begging inside my head that she be a neurotypical 12 year old for just one day. Dancing around AB as his moods fluctuate and threaten like the dark cloud that hangs over only Eeyore's head. Trying desperately to bring normalcy to at least WG's childhood knowing that it's futile.
Lightening bugs. Anoles. June bugs. Stars. Blue moons. Fields. Thunderstorms. Windchimes. Books. Fireworks. Swimming. Sunburns. Hotdogs. Watermelon. Corn. Sandals. Beach. Shells. Friends. Fun.
That's what I want this summer to encapsulate. I hope I can make it happen. It won't be long before their own summer plans usurp mine.
I will myself to ignore Sissy's "Mom!!! Since we're here can I get a magazine?!" shrieks from the backseat of the van when I pull up to the gas pump.
I choose to not engage when she screams in my face, "My new earbuds hurt my ears! You know my ears are sensitive!!!" when she begged for new earbuds and has no problem with the pair except that she simply wants to use the headphones designated for the television and any excuse to prove that she should have that privilege is a better expressed excuse when screamed at 180db to my bewildered expression.
I will steel my nerves when she runs through the library holding herself and exclaiming loudly that she has to pee.
I will think of lightening bugs, anoles, stars, blue moons, fields, thunderstorms, windchimes, books, fireworks, swimming, sunburns, hotdogs, watermelon, corn, sandals, beaches, shells friends and fun when she is chattering incessantly to no one in particular but getting exponentially irritated when no one in particular is listening to her.
I will chant, "god doesn't hate me" when I'm quite certain that he must unequivocally detest every fiber of my being when the children are in nuclear meltdown at the checkout of the grocery store.
With all that is in me, I will provide the children with the platform to have beautiful childhood summer memories that will stand the test of time, patience, tantrums, arguments, the blistering heat and their challenges.
I will survive, nay I will have fun.