Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Summer Zone

Travel with me to another dimension, a dimension not only of warmth and relaxation but of mind; a journey into a wondrous season whose boundaries are only that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead — your next stop, the Weasel Summer Zone.

We are in home stretch. Nine long miserable months of homework, conferences, teacher emails, tightly packed schedules and peanut butter sandwiches is coming to an end. This must be what parole feels like.

Now some of you are reading this and saying to yourselves, this woman is nuts "but it's easier when the kids are in school. It screws up the whole schedule when the kids are home all summer." NukeDad commented the other day "Wait, let me get this straight: you send them all off to school in the morning and have at least 6 hours of peace and quiet, and now you can't wait for that to be OVER? You realize what that means, right? NO 6 HOURS OF PEACE AND QUIET! Are you out of your ever lovin' mind?"

My answer to that is yes, yes I am. That is what school does to me.

Even as a child I hated school. I was a descent student, but the school year tortured me to the umpteenth degree. I served my time. I did my work and I longed for summer time. The last day of school was always (and still is) the happiest day of the year for me (a close second is when we make the switch to daylight savings time).

At high school graduation, I was dumbfounded by many of my classmates being overwhelmed with tears. I wanted to sing and dance. As they mourned the end of an era, I celebrated my freedom from prison twelve years of misery. Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I'm free at last.

I still feel the same was about school. Yes, it's a necessary evil. I still hate the constraints it puts on our lives. I earned my degree. Why am I still doing homework?

All through the school year, I am a mean mom. I don't want to be. I have to be. I feel like a drill sergeant as I pull the Weasels from the warmth of their beds, force feed them breakfast, shout orders about the days schedule, give personal hygiene reminders and make them double time it to the car to get to school on time.

After school, it's all business. Papers to be signed, homework to be done, dinner to be fed, practices to get to. No, is the answer to almost every "can I, can we" request. There is no time. By the time all of the to-do's are done, I have to march the Weasels to bed. I hate being this mom. I hate not being able to enjoy the Weasels. I hate constantly being under the clock. Sure, during school hours I can get things done in relative peace, but the early mornings and late afternoons are miserable, for me and for them.

All summer long, we Weasels celebrate freedom. There is no grueling schedule. There is less laundry to be done when they wear bathing suits and flip flops constantly. We relax and play and just enjoy. We should be the poster family for the lazy days of summer. In the summer, I can say yes more often than a drunken cheerleader. Yes you can. Yes we can. Yes! Yes! Yes! There will be sleepovers, and lemonade stands. Popsicles and roast your own hot dog over the fire pit. Family bike rides and trips to the zoo. There will be trips to the lake and fun to be had around every corner. The absolute best part of it all is that I can just sit back and enjoy the Weasels. I can spend time enjoying them, without chains.

Maybe I am out of mind, but for me, summer in Weaselville is a little slice of heaven.

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23 comments:

NukeDad said...

Well, when you put it like that...

I can see your point. Saying "No" all of the time does become disheartening. Here's hoping the Weasel Nation has the best summer ever!

de-I said...

Perhaps on the other hand if you didn't have the ordeal of the school year to compare the joy of the summer against, a non-stop diet of the summer routine would be boring. Perhaps it is the anticipation and crowding of that unbridled joy into the limited time of year of summer that really gives it the zest you enjoy.

On another note, I loved 'drunken cheerleader' analogy. When you bring your blog signing tour to New Mexico remind me to have you over for margaritas :)

WeaselMomma said...

@ NukeDad ~ Summer here is magical and wonderful. Lots of puppies and rainbows.

@ de-I ~ That may be part of it. However, being starved will make any meal taste wonderful. That doesn't mean you wouldn't prefer regular meals, even if they aren't as appreciated. I will take you up on the margaritas at first opportunity. You can even email me the next time you are in Chicago and have time for lunch.

Gertrude Groggins - said...

I am with you a thousand percent! 2 and a half more days and the boy is free for another summer. However, this is the summer before he starts high school and I AM having a little trouble with that...

The Father of Five said...

I'm coming over to your house for the summer!

surprised mom said...

I'm with you WeaselMomma for all the same reasons. This summer will be a bittersweet one for me as I wave the oldest off to college in the fall. I plan to attack every sunshinning minute. We'll have to take some Mommy time and meet half way for some Coors Light, Margaritas, or . . . and whatever else is on the menu. Let the fun begin!

Momisodes said...

My daughter is not schoolage yet, but I can certainly see what you mean. It's tough following the same rigid schedule and rules for months on end.

Like you, I relished my summer months off.

Hope you all have an amazing summer together!

Tom said...

What I dislike about summer is that my wife and I DON'T get a break, and the kids do. So they're rattling around like a marble in a dishwasher with nothing to contain them for three months while I still have to get up and go to work 8-5 every freaking weekday.

I'm glad you're looking forward to summer. Sounds like a good time will be had by all.

WeaselMomma said...

@ Gertrude ~ Summer is a mighty glorious thing.

@ Father of Five ~ I'll light the grill.

@ Surprised ~ I think that can be arranged.

@ Momisodes ~ The routine is way too monotonous for me.

@ Tom ~ I wish you a more relaxed summer this year.

Otter Thomas said...

I always hated school from the first day of kindergarten. I bet I will love summertime when Braden starts school too. I still love summer now and I get no break.

Mr. Man said...

Excellent twist to the end of school. And if we were all to admit it, most people probably feel the same way.

dad in training said...

I tend to agree with your description of the school year as torture and summer as total freedom. Too many parents I know love the school year even with the tight schedules. I side with the Weasel Momma...bring on summer!!!

Michelle said...

Kudos to you for actually enjoying the time with your kids and doing fun things with them. Summer for me is hardest because my husband is off, the wee ones are off, and one day a week I wake up early and go to work (like out the door at 6:10 - shut up people who like morning) and two days I work from home. *sigh*

OhCaptain said...

OhCountess has a strange schedule, the schedule of an RN, you know, sick people time. I have a banker's hours job. I notice no difference between the school year and the summer other then I come home, I hear stories of everyone having a great time while I was away at work. Oh boi! Ok, read that with the heavy sarcasm font. Summer means it's hot wearing a suit to work...happy, happy, joy, joy :-(

Mike said...

Now that I don't have a job to go to right now, it seems like summer vacation. Except that I'm stuck with a huge "honey do" list.

Are summers in the midwest as nice as they are out here on the coast?

Jason said...

I always hated school too. Still do. But I have to admit I like my free daytime hours(especially since Squirt is still taking killer long naps in the pm).

With summer approaching I actually had to get myself set on an earlier schedule, I now have longer hours if I intend to get anything done. I now have the possibility of drop by friends at any moment of the day(thought the one I can't stand just broke his arm so yay me!). Number 1 is bored to death at home with us during the summer

I know I sound like a mean dad, but I can't wait for August...

WeaselMomma said...

@ Otter ~ Yeah, summer is the best time of year in my book.

@ Mr. Man ~ I hope you are right, but I definitely feel outnumbered on this one.

@ Dad in Training ~ Thanks for the back-up.

@ Michelle ~ I hope that your days off turn into wonderful family memories.

@ Captain ~ It makes a big difference that we can kick it old school with me at home. Even the Mister loves it though. It's the only time of year he can play with the kids after work and outside no less.

@ Mike ~ Summers here are usually hot and humid. We often break 100 and are usually in the high 80's or low 90's. Much better than the winters.

@ Jason ~ Take your laptop into the yard while the kids run around, it's what I do. I know is taints the work schedule, but these will be gone before you know it. Enjoy them while you can.

Write From Karen said...

I completely agree with you. And may I just say that it's refreshing to come across another mother who ENJOYS summer break? (How many posts lament about the dreaded break? Let me count the blogs ...)

I think that's one reason my boys hate school themselves - because of me and my military attitude. I too turn into this shrewish "Do it now, there's no time" kind of mom. I hate being like that and I relish the times we can just chill out and do what we want to do when we want to do it.

The Microblogologist said...

I wish I were a weasel! If I had the summer off Niecey and I would so show up at your place and stealthily move in ;)

Cheffie-Mom said...

Happy Happy Summer to the Weasel Family!!

Oscar said...

Being past that, i do recall the sigh of relief not having to wory about whether who got up and was on time, or shuffling kids to games, plays, and other school stuff. Now you have more time to visit your favorite Coors vendor!

Fun post (as always)

terri said...

I'm one of those maniacs that looks forward to summer vacation too. My kids are happier and more relaxed in the summer. Therefore, i am too!

Mrs4444 said...

Weasel Summer Camp sounds like a blast! I'm happy for all of you :) And summer means we are that much closer to BlogHer!!! Yea!

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