It's victory lap time, parents. Just a mere 11 weeks ago you set out to make this the World's Best Summer for your kids. (Okay, so many of us were just hoping to survive, but with only one full week of summer left, we're allowed to pat ourselves on the back and remember our efforts in heroic terms.)
You started Week 1 (read and remember) with big goals for adventures and quality time and memories. You were awesome in Week 1. Don't you forget it.
You dialed those expectations down a bit in Week 3 (read and remember) after you realized you needed to pace yourselves. In Week 3 you were realistic and your kids' expectations were protected because of it. No crushed dreams around here. Nice work outta you!
And then you scaled the whole thing back completely in Week 6 (did you remember my mid-summer meltdown?) when you realized that surviving without injuring them or yourself would be the true victory. You were a conqueror in Week 6. Bloodied and bruised from battle, but still standing.
And now you're in Week 11.
There's a bit of self-satisfaction in knowing you made it. And pleasure in knowing it was more fun and memorable than disastrous and dreadful. The light of back-to-school is at the end of the tunnel and the summer train is flying full-speed down the tracks towards it.
And then you realize: you're going to miss those turkeys.
That's right. The same kids who constantly begged you for more screen time, incessantly pestered their brothers and sisters, and insisted they were bored are the ones who swam for hours, caught fireflies, ate popsicles and laughed until their tummies hurt as they created memories together. And you loved every minute of it.
Week 11 is the Summer vs. School tug-o'-war.
We're counting down the days and hours until our kids return to school and our homes return to their calm, quiet, peaceful selves. But, we're also counting down the days and hours we still have to enjoy summer fun together with no schedules or activities or demands bigger than whether we should we go to the park or the pool today.
We find ourselves simultaneously dreading AND craving the structure the school year brings. We're longing for quieter days while accepting that the quiet means we won't see our kids for eight straight hours each day.
Week 11 is a bit of a mixed, emotional bag. We're both ready and not ready for summer to end depending on the day/hour/minute.
It's bittersweet......but, mostly sweet.
We have happiness in knowing we had a good summer. Not perfect, certainly, but memorable and fun. Just what summer should be.
And it's wrapping up, which is also good. If you told me I still had a month to go, I'd poke my eyes out. But, since it's only a week, I can remember Summer 2016 fondly and go out on top.
Week 11 parents can look towards school with excitement for our kids with their new teachers, friends and routines. We're eager for them to learn new things and have other wonderful adults encourage, love, and teach them. It's good for them to have others pour into their lives and will hopefully make them appreciate their loving, devoted parents who made the past three months the....Best Ever!
Scratch that......Okay-est Ever!
I commend you, Week 11 Parents. You did it. You completed another summer and both you and your kids are in one piece. The house, your grocery budget, and that bottle of sunscreen are destroyed, but you have warm-weather memories to last a lifetime.
Now time to get those school supplies purchased, hair cuts scheduled, and bedtimes adjusted!!