Thursday, August 16, 2012

Holding on to summer

The Boy is back at football. Teenzilla is coaching pee-wee cheerleaders. This signifies that summer is pretty much over for us.  But I am hanging on for dear life. I LOVE summer- especially when I don't have to work and can be home with my kiddos. I was just getting used to summer when I realized that it's nearly over. And it wasn't even a productive summer- a lot of hanging out, pool time and Nerf gun battles. I don't want to go back to the real world of hectic mornings, busy afternoons and flash by weekends.  I will also be embarking on the next phase of MY education- finishing my degree in Special Ed. It is definitely a big year for transitions.

When they were younger I was counting down the days until school resumed. I guess having a freshman and a 5th grader makes me keenly aware of just how fast time is going by- and these summers of hanging out with them are dwindling. If I needed any further proof- I just need to chat with The Twenty Something- the fact that he is a grown man still boggles my mind.

The bliss that most parents feel knowing that for at least 8 hours a day someone else is in charge of their kids is lost on me this year. I am only thinking of the reasons why I am desperately holding on to  summer.

1)NO MORE SLEEPING IN!! - Crazy mornings, getting everyone packed and ready- especially since I leave before the kids do, so dad is Team Leader. Rest assured- mom has gotten all of the important stuff done, lunches, library books, homework and permission slips all ready. His job, make sure they eat SOMETHING brush their teeth and get to school on time.  Simple, right? Probably, but my OCD is in overdrive, and my worry level is at DEFCON 1. The Mister does a great job, but a mom always feels she could have done better.

2)Back to school shopping- This activity fills me with dread. The Boy- he's EASY. But I have a 14 year old Teenzilla who is starting high school. The mere thought of walking around the mall being bombarded with offers to straighten my hair makes me want to hide. My Teenzilla has a very unique style- no Abercrombie or American Eagle...nope. We will be hitting Hot Topic where my ears can be assaulted with  heavy bass  DubStep and thrash metal, and trying to casually count all the piercings on the girl who is helping us. The fact that the store itself is narrow, makes me have to LITERALLY rub elbows with the unwashed masses...UGH.  And worst of all, trying to explain to my beautiful Teenzilla that our budget has been downsized (thank you car problems) seriously- where is my wine?

3)Piles of CRAP- You know, all the papers, notebooks, books, backpacks, never ending piles of CRAP that the little darlings bring home. It was mid July before I even got through LAST YEAR'S crap! Now I get to start all over. I have already received the first giant envelope full of shit to fill out for Teenzilla...My wine?

4)Extra Curricular Activities- In summer, things aren't really planned. We go somewhere if we want to, not because we have to (most of the time). Then school is back in session, and the HAVE TO BE THERE never ends. back to school night, practices, football games, rehearsals, PTA meetings, is endless. And while I am not one to over schedule my kids, there are still A LOT of things to get them to.  The gas money alone costs a fortune, especially with gas over $4 a gallon. I will be lucky to have wine money.

5)Pay for this, buy that, volunteer for something else- The amount of work I do writing checks adds up to a part time job, but not getting any money in..just sending it out. Music Boosters, PAT dues (our district is Parent and Teacher, not traditional PTA), school pictures, material fees, fundraisers. Then there is the volunteering. Class mom, car pools, field trips and on and on and on. And you are hardest hit in that first month- when cash is already tight and you are robbing Peter AND Paul to pay Tom.  Seriously, where is my wine?

6) IEP Hell- The joys of the beginning of the year IEP meeting. Finding out new and interesting ways the school is failing to comply with The Boy's current IEP, (or how they are going to try to slip bullshit past me) and the IDEA law interspersed with hyperventilated exclamations from me, especially as I am still not thrilled with how last year went.   Let’s face it, the entire process is extremely intimidating and nerve-wracking to a parent. And I am not one of those meek and mild parents. NOOOO! I am vocal and demanding- just call me PITA mom. This is my kid's education after all.  I try my hardest to work WITH the team- but damn- it feels like swimming upstream with weights on my legs.  WHERE IS MY WINE?!?

It doesn't matter how many reasons I have, time marches on, and the kids will be marching to the bus in a little under 3 weeks. Now is the time to start shooing them to bed earlier (THAT is a definite perk!)  cleaning closets, and making lists of all the essentials and trying to stretch the already stretched to the limit budget.  I have been doing this for a LONG time- you would think I would get better at it, right?

Ahhh- there is my wine. Cheers to Back to School, and the best of luck to all of us!