For three weeks now, my kids and I have been counting down the days until school's out. And the day is finally here.
At 1:45 this afternoon when the bell rings, my kids are released from their routine and set free to enjoy a summer of leisure. They are cleaning out their classrooms, having pizza and dance parties and picnics, saying goodbye to classmates they won't see for three months, and dreaming of days on end at the pool and park.
And me? I'm revving up Camp Mom, and trying to figure out a way to juggle my part-time work responsibilities and my full-time household CEO and child care responsibilities.
Admittedly, summer can be a struggle.
Family life no longer revolves around the academic calendar, like it did back in the 50's and 60's. For working parents these days, summer represents a major financial output, with the kids in full-time camps instead of school. For part-time working parents, summer is a scheduling nightmare - with camps here and there, child exchanges here and there, and laundry, chores and work deadlines piling up here and there.
And it's no 24/7 picnic for stay at home parents either, who have used up all their boredom breakers, clever ideas, craft projects, day trip plans and group activities by Week 2.
But despite these pressures, I just can't help but feel as giddy about summer as my kids. I'm exited about the change in routine, the change in attitude and the change of pace. In fact, a gym buddy of mine told me last week that I was the only parent she knew that got excited about the end of school and the start of summer.
What happens to us when we grow up and become parents? Do we forget what it felt like when we were kids, and heard that school bell ring for the last time before the long break?
I didn't forget. And I hope I never forget. That's why today, I'm celebrating the start of summer with just as much enthusiasm as my kids.
Yee-Haa! No more teachers, no more books.....
How do you handle summers in your family? Is it a time of stress, or relaxation? Click below on "Comments" and share your story.
Out for summer
Out till fall
We might not go back at all
School's out forever
School's out for summer
School's out with fever
School's out completely
(BTW, Alice Cooper just published his memoir titled "Alice Cooper, Golf Monster: A Rock and Roller's 12 Steps to Becoming a Golf Addict." In it, he tells of his childhood, growing up the child and grandchild of a minister, and how his rock and roll alter ego got him into trouble and rehab. You can listen to a fasicnating interview with "Alice" on NPR's Fresh Air. Sounds like a great Father's Day gift if your dad is a golfer, a rock fan, or both!)