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Since I’m sending all my children back to school (or to school for the first time) in September, I’ve spent a certain amount of time since April running around dealing with the paperwork that sort of things entails — times four. So, in a way, I could relate to what Kimmie said to me when she got home from her last day of school.
“Mama, I really like school, thank you for sending me,” she told me earnestly. “The only thing I don’t like about it is having to get up so early.”
I gather than among the more pleasant of the new experiences attached to being in public school, summer vacation is high on the list.
Not quite a week into summer vacation and it’s shaping up into what, I suspect, it’s going to be like until after Labor Day.
David, still in the grip of Teenaged Boy disease, has vowed to sleep all summer. After watching him for a week, I can see that he’s certainly going to try. Fortunately — or unfortunately, depending on your point of view — his room heats up to a pretty uncomfortable level about midway through the morning, forcing him to grace the rest of us with his presence. Since his sleep has been interrupted so rudely by the weather, he amuses himself by picking fights with his little brother and sister until the second floor cools off again late in the day.
Of course, by then, he has lost interest in returning to somnolence. David and his sister, Gina, have given clear indications of another prominent goal for the summer months: stay up as late as the parents will tolerate, sleep till noon.
The little ones have much simpler and more palatable goals. They seem to have a “take it or leave it” attitude toward sleep. Instead, they want to spend their summer pretty much evenly dividing their time between eating and playing.
In between all this activity — or inactivity — they fight with each other.
Sometimes, it’s kind of reassuring to note just how normal they are.
I’m enjoying the vacation from school, too. It means I don’t have to spend quite so much time bugging them about their time management tendencies. I get to take a break from filling out forms and signing permission slips. And I don’t have to get up at six o’clock in the morning anymore for a couple of months.
Like Kimmie, I’ll be glad for the chance to sleep late.
Of course, it also means trying to get some work done in between sprinting outside to mediate disputes or getting Ricky’s bike out of the garage or spraying Kimmie down with bug spray or helping Gina find her shoes. And the task of finding a quiet moment to make those critical phone calls I often need to make during my day will be a bit more challenging.
By the time September gets here, I expect I’ll be tickled pink to see them all heading off to school. I’m already starting to look forward to the quiet.
In fact, by then, I bet I will have completely forgotten how much I dislike having to get up at six o’clock in the morning.