Last August I fired myself as a middle school homeschooling teacher, and we enrolled our three oldest kids in public school. We didn’t know if we would like this new way of life. It was a big change, and change is scary.
However, given my lack of talent for organizing three middle schoolers’ assignments and grades and our determination not to produce children who are complete dunces, it seemed like the only logical step.
I am happy to report they have survived their first year.
They lived through the awful “I don’t have any friends to sit with at lunch” season of the early weeks. They also learned to deal with the “why do we have to be locked up in kid jail” feelings that homeschooling had not prepared them to face. They have found creative ways to deal with girls who have crushes, bullies in classrooms, and teachers (AKA unjust jailers, apparently) who actually expect students to turn in assignments on time.
They are in the bizarre time of school now in which their classes are either unbelievably challenging (ie. dissection of a frog, social studies finals, theater presentations) or incredibly useless (ie. my Pre-AP students are watching Disney’s Pocahontas).
They are confused by these inconsistencies. It is very hot outside. They want summer. Right now. Today.
But alas, we have almost three weeks of school left because life is not fair. Not one tiny bit.
As the mom, who has to facilitate all the things they have to do in these last few weeks, I, too am completely done with the school year.
My boys have ridden their bikes to school all year, and one of their tires popped last week. We have had approximately seven bike emergencies this year, and I am too tired to deal with another one. I am now driving them every day because it’s simply easier to quit than to stand up and fight for a functional bike.
We have band rehearsals and ceremonies and all sorts of things every night of the week, and I am weary of making dinners that can be reheated or eaten on the go. I’m also tired of keeping the pantry stocked with lunch items and so it’s possible my kids are taking candy for lunch this week. Let them eat Pop Tarts or a ziplock of dry cereal or for the love of all things sane, let’s just order pizza every night, pretend tomato sauce counts as a vegetable, and pack the leftover slices in a plastic Target bag the next day. Dinner and lunch, done and done. #allidoiswin
I know I’m not alone in this, because one of my friends texted me the other day and said she ate chocolate covered almonds for dinner and told her three children to take care of themselves. She is my hero and a guiding light in my life. I hope she ate those almonds in bed while watching Netflix or reading a book, because that sounds like heaven to me. I’m pretty sure that’s now on my bucket list.
Speaking of bucket lists, we are not ready for a Summer 2018 Bucket List. Don’t tell us all the fun/educational/awesome things we should do in July, because we can’t even imagine getting out of bed until August 1. After all, we have chocolate covered almonds, a pile of books, and a remote. We’re hoping for a long term relationship that will really last.
A girl can dream.
So Pinterest, we want zero meal plans, organizing hacks, or articles about how to do our summer lives better. We want to do life less awesome, maybe even do it worse, if it means we can expend less energy. We’re like bears ready for hibernation. We want to lie down in the cave called summer and live off the productivity and total bossness we have stored up all year long.
To all my sisters of sacrificial martyrdom, I wish the school principals and coaches and teachers could schedule all the end of school award ceremonies, band concerts, and final tests on one last day of massive insanity so we could all go to the pool every day for three months and have our biggest problems be people who splash us in the face too much.
But here we are in the last weeks of school. We. Are. Done.
I release you. I release you to enter survival mode and turn in a less-than-stellar final third grade social studies project. I’m not saying to blow off school altogether, but I am saying you that this community of Mothers Who Are Done fully acknowledges that taking your kid back to school after their orthodontist appointment for two more hours of nothing-that-is-even-all-that-important seems ludicrous. We understand, really. You’ll have to go sit in line to pick them up again! Besides, your son has already seen Pocahontas six times, so what is even the point, I ask you??
(Unless, of course, you’re trying to help your kid win one of those perfect attendance record medals someday, which is a real thing I have learned. If that is you, you probably think this whole post is bunk. I salute you, high achieving and awesome mom. You are the real deal.)
For the rest of us, I remind you that our forefathers fought so that we could be free from the tyranny of unjust systems and authority. I also point out that Jesus came to lift the burdens of the weary so they could enter into his rest. I’m pretty sure none of them were thinking of us, mothering our way through the final days of school when all of that happened, but it feels good to pretend otherwise.
She who has been freed from the school year is free indeed.
Oh, summer come quickly. May these last days run through our fingers like sand or something else really fast like that. I can’t think of a good word picture that adequately expresses the speed at which summer should be barreling down on us. I think I used up all my words helping my seventh grader with his study guide for the retake of his final exam. This was such a long story of dying that I can’t tell right now. I have been sifted like wheat, you guys. My mind is a wasteland of creative ideas after attempting to explain what a free enterprise system is to that kid.
May the Lord not tarry one day longer than necessary.
In the meantime, pass the chocolate almonds.