Sunday, June 7, 2009

Beginning of summer delusions of grandeur

Published June 7, 2009
St. George Spectrum & Daily News

LAST DAY OF SCHOOL! I’m bouncing in my computer chair. It’s the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL! I’m counting minutes until 1:30, when my children will officially be home for the summer. LAST DAY OF SCHOOL! I’m dangerously close to incontinence. DID I MENTION IT’S THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL?

Excuse my enthusiasm. I’ve been doing the last week of school limbo since Monday, trying to find ways to occupy my time while nearly bursting with ambitious summer plans I can’t put in place until school is out. At this writing, it is now Friday and the LAST DAY OF (whoops, sorry, need to stop doing that)…ahem, school has ended.

This is a good day. There’s nothing like Beginning of Summer Delusions of Grandeur (true condition…look it up!) to make a gal feel like she’s on top of the world. When it comes to summer, I’m like a hungry kid in an all-you-can-eat-buffet. My eyes are bigger than my, summer.

I don’t know about other moms, but when I’m looking out over the vast and beautiful expanse of nearly three months of summer vacation, I see nothing of the mundane day to day responsibilities that fill every other month of the year. I see 77 perfect days to fill with fun and family togetherness.

Sure, every other day I spend hours on dishes, laundry, errands, and lawn care. But this is summer! Summer is magic! What? Yes, I know I still have a full time job. What’s that got to do with anything? We’re talking magic, people! MAGIC!

As of this moment, my summer plans include nearly daily trips to the park, weekly hiking, swimming, and barbecuing, twice monthly trips to museums, concerts, and other free kid activities, and a week-long family trip to Music Arts and Technology camp in Evanston, WY. In addition to all that, we plan to garden, repaint the kitchen cupboards, strip, sand, and carve walking sticks for each of us, and create a craft room in which my children can become the next great modern artists. And let’s not forget the many family festivities we have planned for the release of the new Harry Potter movie.

Having experienced this rash of planning at the beginning of many a summer vacation, I can tell you it’s never really worked out the way I hoped it would. By the end of summer, I’m usually looking over my list and thinking, oh…right…we were going to do some of this stuff. There’s usually a mad dash to make it up the final week before school starts again, but the enthusiasm is kind of gone by that point.

This year, however, things are going to be different! Yes, I understand I say that every year. What YOU don’t understand is that this time, I MEAN it! This time, we have weekly family meetings in which the kids hold us accountable for our promises. This time, we have a calendar prominently displayed in the dining room. This time, we’re really serious. If we don’t do it, I will eat this column!

I’ll eat it at our Harry Potter themed hike/barbecue swim party at a museum in Evanston, but I’ll eat it!