Parents feel the heat as summer approaches
IIf I needed to count my blessings, I only had to look into the eyes of one of the moms running through the school library this time of year. The year-end madness has descended and they are jostling.
I loved and truly appreciated my kids’ teachers, but I want to strangle the gifted one who upped the year-end gift tradition from a heartfelt thank you card and gift card to a basket -exotic gift, a collage of photos of each of the children, a spa treatment, bouquets of flowers and maybe a new wardrobe at Nordstrom.
I contend that at the start of May, the mums and some of the dads are barely exhausted, both financially and physically, with barely the energy to say goodbye.
Yet, in addition to responding to room mom’s requests for secret donations, handwritten compositions, and various sign-up sheets, your last month’s to-do list grows longer and longer.
This may include another trip to the store to buy potatoes to generate electricity for your child’s science fair experiment. It’s always about finding the last folded tri-plank at the pharmacy for that latest book report or a reconstruction of the catacombs in Rome.
I only had two children and these last weeks of school have set my hair on fire. I can’t imagine those with four or five. I expect to see them self-combust in the parking lot.
If you were volunteering at school — and who didn’t — you had to schedule time for the thank-you lunch, which most likely meant more time to reschedule.
Or you can just skip it and be the pariah mom who wasn’t there to receive her wilted flowers and hear her child’s class sing. These are the same songs your child sang over and over in the shower, in the car, at the grocery store and at bedtime for six weeks.
Then there are class picnics, field trips, dances or, God forbid, promotion ceremonies. These add a guaranteed fight with your child over what they are going to wear.
You’ll probably hear, “We need organic nut-free snacks, we need cupcakes, we need bottled water, we need sunscreen, we need park reservations, we need chaperones. , we need…” Phew.
I’m still not convinced that my lovely children have worked hard enough to deserve this week of fun and fresh air, just before six weeks of fun and fresh air.
Heck, I want them to really enjoy this summer break. Let them work that pencil all the way through until 2:25 p.m. on the last day.
Hopefully, that might delay the dreaded words you know will come. “Mom, I’m bored!”
Jean Gillette is a freelance writer who keeps small chocolates on hand to restore a mother’s soul. Contact her at [email protected].